11:19 GMT12 July 2020
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    The expulsion of two Russian diplomats from Greece is unfounded and could seriously damage bilateral relations, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

    "It appears that Washington, which openly supported these actions in the statement made by the State Department, is behind this anti-Russian move by the Greek government, timed specifically to coincide with the opening of the NATO summit," the ministry said.

    The Russian Foreign Ministry stated that the Greek side had provided no justification for the expulsion of the Russian diplomats from Greece, emphasizing that Moscow considers the incident absolutely groundless.

    "We consider this action to be absolutely unreasonable, not confirmed by facts from the Greek side, which runs counter to the nature of our bilateral relations and is capable of inflicting serious damage," the ministry said in a statement.

    Russia's Foreign Ministry said that it has summoned the Greek envoy to Moscow to protest Athens' expulsion of two Russian diplomats.

    Earlier in July, the Greek Kathimerini newspaper reported that Athens had decided to expel two Russian diplomats and ban two more from entering the country over illegal actions that threatened the country's national security.

    READ MORE: Moscow Vows Reciprocal Response to Expulsion of Russian Diplomats From Greece

    The publication claimed that the diplomats attempted to intervene in a domestic issue, namely the changing of the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to the Republic of North Macedonia, the agreement for which was brokered by Skopje and Athens last month.

    Moscow promised to give a reciprocal response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on July 11.


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