February 8, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Russia on relations with Greece: “We used to be friends”

Russia was friends with Greece until Athens bowed to “American demands,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“We noted the transformation of her leadership. It was forced or agreed to submit to American demands. We have drawn conclusions about those who so happily supported the aggression against Russia,” Lavrov tweeted on Monday from the Russian Embassy in Athens.

“It is strange that they so quickly moved not only to the “camp” of those who signed the sanctions, but also to the group leading the anti-Russian actions. This reflects the imposed line of the aggressive opposition, and not the interests of the Greeks,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

Greece has joined the US and its NATO allies in strongly condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the annexation of its eastern regions. “Greece will never recognize the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories,” said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “Russia is undermining the rules-based international order and violating Ukraine’s fundamental rights to independence and sovereignty. Greece and EU firmly stand on the side of Ukraine.

In July 2022, Russia included Greece on the list of unfriendly countries due to its stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Moscow expanded the list of “unfriendly” states, adding to it, in addition to Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia. Slovenia and Croatia were prohibited from hiring employees in their diplomatic missions and consular offices in Russia. In June of the same year, Russia expelled eight Greek diplomats because of Greece’s “confrontational course” towards Moscow. This move was taken in response to the expulsion of twelve Russian diplomats from Athens.

Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, warned in a statement posted on social media that the “historical parallels” between Greece and Russia could turn into “a solid double line between us.” Zakharova also claimed that in Greece there is a deliberate slander against Russia after the ongoing war in Ukraine.





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