The developing diplomatic ping-pong between Athens and Moscow is tending to obfuscate rather than illuminate the causes that led to the crisis.
Yesterday, the spokesperson of the Russiaan foreign ministry warned that the expulsion of Russian diplomats will have consequences and burdens bilateral relations, and she underlined that such actions cannot disappear without leaving a trace.
For its part, the Greek government is trying to dowplay the event, and is avoiding clarification of what exactly happened. It is characteristic that in the midst of the diplomatic crisis, the defence minister hastened to award the military attaché of the Russian Embassy.
Russian interest in our region is well known and has been demonstrated for quite some time. Clearly, Russia is attempting in every way to avert the accession to Nato of Western Balkan countries.
Yet, there is a big difference between reacting and methodically intervening in the domestic affairs of countries, which both Athens and Skopje allege that Moscow has done.
As many limitations that diplomacy may pose, the obfuscation of the matter by the Greek side in unjustifiable. In such a crisis with an important power, citizens have a right to know exactly what has occurred. This is all the more true when various government mouthpieces are disseminating rumours about attempts to buy off MPs and efforts to undermine the Greece-FYROM naming agreement.
The competent foreign ministry cannot remain silent for so many days, with the government spokesman offering only generalities regarding the defence of national interests and a multi-pronged foreign policy.
The problem that has arisen cannot be addressed with petty partisan games, or with routine governmental diversionary tactics for public consumption.