Russia expels eight Greek diplomats

Russian flag flies with the Spasskaya Tower of Moscow’s Kremlin in the background in Moscow, Russia February 27, 2019. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

MOSCOW — Russia said Monday it was expelling eight Greek diplomats over a decision by Athens to deliver military equipment to Ukraine, where Moscow’s troops are fighting.

Greece’s ambassador was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry and told the diplomats had eight days to leave the country, said a ministry statement.

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The decision was “the direct consequence of unfriendly actions taken by the Greek authorities”, said the ministry.

The statement referred specifically to the delivery of weapons and military material to Ukraine and the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece.

The Greek foreign ministry expressed “profound regret” over the move, which it claimed was “baseless”.

Athens said the diplomats in question were “distinguished by their professionalism and high sense of responsibility (and) performed their duties in accordance with the provisions of the Vienna conventions on diplomatic and consular relations.”