Russia included Greece in the list of unfriendly countries on Friday due to its stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Moscow expanded the list of “unfriendly” states, also adding—apart from Greece—Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia, and Slovakia. Slovenia and Croatia were banned from hiring employees in their diplomatic missions and consular offices in Russia.
The government decree was adopted to implement the presidential decree on measures to influence “unfriendly” states dated April 23, 2021. The decree provides restrictions and even a potential complete ban for “unfriendly” countries in hiring employees for embassies, consulates, and representative government agencies from Russian locals.
The list also indicates how many individuals located in Russia the “unfriendly” diplomatic missions can hire. Greece has a limit of thirty-four people, Denmark of twenty, and Slovakia of sixteen. Slovenia and Croatia will be unable to hire employees in their diplomatic missions and consular offices.
The list of “unfriendly” states may be extended. It was approved on March 7th of this year.
Today the Russian government considers the following countries “unfriendly,” including Australia, Albania, Andorra, the United Kingdom (as well as Jersey), Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar, all European Union Member States, Iceland, Canada, Liechtenstein, Micronesia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, San Marino, North Macedonia, Singapore, the USA, Taiwan (China), Ukraine, Montenegro, Switzerland, and Japan.
Greece-Russia relations reach a new low
In June, Russia expelled eight Greek diplomats over the latter’s “confrontational course” towards Moscow.
In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said it summoned Greek Ambassador Ekaterini Nassika and expressed a decisive protest over the confrontational course of the Greek authorities towards Russia, part of which are arms deliveries to Ukraine and the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece.
“The ambassador was handed a note, notifying that as a response measure, eight Greek diplomats were declared ‘persona non grata,'” and they are required to leave Russia within eight days, the ministry said.
The move was in retaliation to the expulsion of twelve Russian diplomats from Athens.
In April, Russia’s Foreign Ministry warned Greece that relations between the two nations that “share the same faith” have been “reduced to almost nothing.”
Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, warned in a statement released on social media that the “historical parallels” between Greece and Russia were in danger of becoming “a solid double line between us.”
The Russian official has previously alleged that there is an orchestrated defamation of Russia in Greece following the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“Senior officials in Athens find themselves making gross accusations against our country and its leadership,” Zakharova said.