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Greece to expel Russian diplomats: media report

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-07-11 19:04

ATHENS - Greece to expel two Russian diplomats, and ban the entry into Greece of two others, accusing them of intrusion into domestic affairs as well as for illegal acts against national security, Greek newspaper "Kathimerini" (Daily) reported on Wednesday.

Athens is accusing the Russian diplomats of efforts to extract and circulate information, and to bribe Greek state operatives, which have failed, according to the report which cites high-level Greek diplomatic sources.

Greek authorities has not commented so far.

"The case brings to the forefront the tension that seems to have been brewing between Athens and Moscow over the last two years, for reasons that have to do with regional security," the newspaper said.

According to the report, Athens saw an attempt by Russia to "intervene in a sensitive domestic issue like the agreement between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the name, and by doing so negatively affect Greece's role in the Balkans."

Athens and Skopje sealed this June a deal to end a two-decade dispute over the use of the name Macedonia which was expected to pave the ground for FYROM's membership in the EU and the NATO.

According to the report, the Greek diplomatic sources underlined that Greece continues to want good relations with Russia and to promote friendship between the two peoples.

According to Sputnik news, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Russia will give a "mirror response" to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece.

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