Greece declares 12 Russian diplomatic staff unwelcome
Greece on Wednesday declared 12 Russian officials personae non grate, joining other European states that have taken similar steps in recent days as accusations of atrocities committed by Russian forces against civilians in Ukraine pushed diplomacy to its limits.
The Foreign Ministry said the decision was made in line with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963.
It added that the ministry’s general secretary has notified the Russian ambassador of the decision.
“Russia will give an appropriate response,” Russian news agency RIA quoted a foreign ministry spokesperson as saying.
During an address to the the European Parliament on Wednesday, European Council president Charles Michel expressed his “outrage at crimes against humanity, against innocent civilians in Bucha and in many other cities.” The European Commission proposed sweeping new sanctions against Russia on Tuesday.
Russian embassy warns of ‘consequences’ over Greek decision to expel diplomats
Russia’s embassy in Athens on Wednesday warned of “consequences” after Greece asked 12 Russian diplomats to leave country over the war in Ukraine.
“We have strongly protested against this unjustified and hostile step which aims to further destroy our bilateral relations,” the embassy said in a statement.
“We made clear that this action will not remain without consequences,” it said.
According to the statement, Russian Ambassador Andrey Maslov was summoned to the Greek Foreign Ministry to be notified of the decision.