Earlier this summer, Athens expelled two Russian diplomats and imposed a travel ban on two more, accusing them of meddling in security issues and attempting to bribe Greek officials.
“On August 6, Greek Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador in Russia Andreas Fryganas was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry where he was presented with a note informing [Greece] of the retaliatory measures taken by the Russian side in response to Athens’ unfriendly actions toward Russian diplomats and nationals in July this year,” the ministry said in a statement.
Explaining the decision over the Russian diplomats, Athens stated they intended to thwart a deal between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece, which would allow Macedonia to join NATO. A decades-long conflict between Greece and Macedonia was settled this June, after Skopje decided to change the name of the country.
Addressing the row, Moscow deemed the expulsion to be a “provocation” and pledged to respond reciprocally to Greece’s move.