The Consulate General of Greece in Moscow, due to the expulsion of its employees, will suspend the work of the visa and civil departments from June 29 to July 1. This is stated in the message of the diplomatic mission:
“In connection with the deportation of employees and the necessary reorganization of the work of the body, from Wednesday June 29, 2022 until Friday July 1, 2022, the Consulate General of Greece in Moscow suspends the work of the visa and civil departments, except for cases of a humanitarian nature. From Monday, July 4, 2022, the Consulate General will resume work.”
On June 25, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) reported that the visa centers of Greece from June 27 suspend the acceptance of documents for visas from Russians. The suspension was explained by technical reasons. Later, the Consulate General of Greece in St. Petersburg reported that on June 27, 2022, all its departments are working as usual.
At the beginning of April this year, Greece announced 12 employees of the Russian diplomatic service in the country persona non grata. On June 27, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation announced about expulsion eight employees of the Greek Embassy in Moscow in response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Athens, writes GreekReporter.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation expects that common sense will prevail in the Greek government regarding the normal functioning of the diplomatic missions of the two countries. This was stated on Wednesday at a briefing by Maria Zakharova, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry:
Of course, we will not copy such an unethical manner, but retaliatory measures were indeed taken. Mutual expulsions are not our choice, we did not initiate them. But such things are not left without a reaction. Over time, I think, common sense should still prevail and allow normalization of the work of the foreign missions of the two countries.
She recalled that declaring eight employees of the embassy and the Greek Consulate General in Moscow persona non grata was a forced response to the unfriendly actions of the Greek side:
As for the Russian embassy in Athens and the consulate general in Thessaloniki, after forced unreasonable staff cuts, they, nevertheless, carry out their tasks in full, including consular services, issuing visas and defending the interests of Russia and its citizens, in accordance with their mandate .
The representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry noted:
As we understood, the purpose of this action was the desire and intention to simply bleed our Russian foreign missions, to make their normal functioning as difficult as possible. Under a far-fetched pretext, in fact, all Hellenistic diplomats were forced to leave the country. I mean key employees, excellent specialists who have served the cause of developing Russian-Greek relations for years. Moreover, the current leadership of Greece in the media went on an even greater escalation – they launched a noisy campaign, published the personal data of these people.
On Monday, the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation message about the fact that 8 Greek diplomats were declared “undesirable persons”:
“On June 27, the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the Russian Federation, E. Nassika, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry, who expressed a strong protest in connection with the confrontational course of the Greek authorities towards Russia, including the supply of weapons and military equipment to the Kyiv regime and the announcement of a group of Russian diplomats in Greece” persona non grata”. The ambassador was handed a note with a notification that, as a response, eight Greek diplomatic employees in Russia were declared “persona non grata” and they must leave the country within eight days. Information was provided on other steps taken by the Russian side, connected with the functioning of the foreign missions of Greece in Russia”.