Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said there will be consequences after Athens expelled two Russian diplomats, but did not indicate that Moscow will respond in kind.
“Such actions do not remain without consequences and do not disappear without traces. Unfortunately, all that casts a shadow on bilateral relations, without offering anything constructive,” she said.
Zakharova said that Athens was misguided by “dirty provocations”.
There was no indication of whether Moscow will expel Greek diplomats, when and how.
The spokesperson attributed Athens’ move to external pressures. “Athens withstood the first wave of expulsions over the Scripal affair. Many pressures ensued and we know what happened with capitals that did not acquiesce. We know who has undertaken to create a confrontation between Athens and Moscow,” Zakharova said.
The ministry described as irrational statements that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov threatened Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias that Moscow would block the Greece-FYROM agreement in the UN Security Council.
Zakharova said Russia has always supported a mutually acceptable agreement on the FYROM naming issue, “which would reflect the will of the people on both sides, without external pressures and without artificial time-frames”.
She said that this did not happen and that the accord created divisions in Greece and FYROM, and will not promote peace and security in the Balkans.
Zakharova also rejected out of hand FYROM PM Zoran Zaev’s allegations that pro-Russia businessmen bankrolled anti-government protests in FYROM. She attribute the allegation to anti-Russian hysteria.