The conflict between Russia and Greece with the mutual deportation of diplomats became a thunder out of the blue. Previously it was believed that Moscow has no more and no more friendly partner in the EU. But the saddest thing is that this scandal still can not be reduced to nothing - a skirmish through diplomatic channels continues. But what is so offended by the Greeks?
"Russian cooperation with Turkey is not directed against third countries," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said, commenting on the communique of the Greek Foreign Ministry. At the same time, she assured that, contrary to accusations from Athens, Russia had never interfered in the internal affairs of Greece and its foreign policy. "And if they want to present the actions of Russia now, then those who are not true friends of Greece do it," the diplomat said, stressing that Moscow has always set the "European friendly partners friendly, open and informative nature of Russian-Greek relations" as an example.
Earlier, the Greeks issued a statement, commenting on Moscow's response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats. And reproaching her for vindictiveness. "Since Russia became Turkey's partner in arms and provided it with a number of security measures, it has steadily departed from positions that correspond to the level of friendship and cooperation that characterized relations between Greece and Russia for 190 years," the document reads.
In brief, the history of this conflict is as follows. A month ago, Athens announced persona non gratadvuh employees of the Russian embassy, and two others were banned from entering. Russians were accused of "interfering in the internal affairs of Greece", "bribing government officials", "gathering information" and other acts incompatible with the status of an accredited diplomat. There are only two versions of the incident.
According to the first, the Russians allegedly participated in organizing rallies against the Greek-Macedonian agreement to rename Macedonia to something abstract - to join NATO and for the sake of Greek phantom pains of antiquity. There were two rallies in Greece, both conducted by the "New Democracy" - the oldest conservative party in the country, which the clan Papandreou still remembers. This party has its own position in Macedonia - much more radical than the ruling SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras, and provoke the "New Democracy" to rallies - a waste of resources, they will manage themselves. In Athens, it is believed that Moscow for some reason required "to create a negative image of Greece in the Balkans." Again - they will manage themselves. What do we need this for?
According to the second version, the Greeks were not satisfied with the activity of Russian diplomacy in the spiritual sphere. Allegedly the penetration of the Russian Imperial Palestinian Society undermines the foundations of Greece, where the church is not separated from the state (this is the only example in Europe, in Scandinavia priests are civil servants and receive a salary from the budget, but their hierarchy is separated from the secular system of power). From the Athens point of view, the influence of RIPO and in general the ROC in Greece, and especially on Athos, must be administratively suppressed, as it "splits" the Eastern churches, establishing parallel links with the priests. According to unconfirmed reports, this scandal may be connected with Kiev's attempts to obtain from the Greek hierarchs sanctions on the autocephaly of the Ukrainian church, which the Russians tried to resist.
These versions can be combined. One of the deported Russians named Yakovlev allegedly dealt with the "New Democracy" as the main opposition force, which is legal for an embassy employee, and the second diplomat (his name is unknown) by the priests. But all this is data from Greek sources, that is, information of doubtful reliability, moreover, actively replicated by Ukrainians.
After the expulsion of the Russians, a mirror response was to be made, after which the conflict could be put to oblivion - this is how the modern world works. The response came, however, with a two-week delay: Ambassador Andreas Friganas was summoned to Smolensk Square, where he was informed about the expulsion of two Greek diplomats. But the conflict between friendly states in the year of the 190 anniversary of the establishment of Russian-Greek relations has not been exhausted on this - the Greeks were offended. There followed the statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, addressed almost to Maria Zakharova personally and sustained in a purely Balkan spirit "I was all so offended". In particular, it is asserted that Russia did not have "such" grounds for expelling diplomats, "what" the Greeks had, so it is wrong to send them back. Worse, "the people of Greece must communicate with the Russian partner and not suffer from dirty provocations, to which, unfortunately, Athens was dragged." And in general, Russia "does not understand the principles of the modern world" and shows "constant disrespect for Greece."
That is, the "mirror principle" adopted throughout the world is "vindictiveness" and "disrespect for Greece," in relation to which some additional attention is required, in addition to the many thousands of Russian soldiers who died for the existence of this country and the Greek Orthodox Church .
But this is not the main thing. In a statement from Athens, it was sadly stated that Moscow "does not understand the value of Greece's foreign policy." The trouble here is that these very Greek foreign policy principles have nothing to do with pragmatic politics. They are entirely based on historical grievances and are built on emotions, rather than on the current agenda. Here and there emotions completely replace this most foreign policy "adzhenda."
This, of course, is a personal matter for the Greeks, how and on what they build their foreign policy. So personal that it is better not to touch it at all. Even now, the delicate spiritual organization of the Hellenes is extremely hurt by the Russian-Turkish rapprochement.
The perception of an abstract Turk (beard, fez, saber curve in his hand) as a primordial and insurmountable enemy is one of the emotional foundations, the same "value" of Greek diplomacy, against which you can not trample. Something similar happens in Russia, but the Greek case is special. If you are on good terms with Turkey (even situationally), you are a traitor and "do not respect the Greek values," and this is not even in Armenia. This is an existential phenomenon, it exists outside the context, outside of traditional diplomacy and even beyond the general history of Russia and Greece.
Referring to the "Russian-Turkish rapprochement" and even to the "brotherhood in arms", which in reality is not there, the government of Tsipras began to curtail Russian-Greek energy projects to the detriment of the economy of its own country. At the same time, no one in Greeks was offended in Moscow; rather, on the contrary, they persuaded and exhorted that the creation of a gas hub on the territory of Greece would benefit everyone. The Greeks responded by building "dark faces" and referring to the European Union. As children, I swear. Oh, you gave Natasha (in our case - Fatima) her doll, so you are now friends, and after that I will not be friends with you, I'll tear my doll up better, but I will not give it to you.
The same story with Macedonia. There is no more surreal interstate conflict in Europe. Historical Macedonia - the one in which Alexander the Great - has not existed for more than two millennia. Actually, it existed only for a short period of the reign of the father and son, who destroyed it with their ambitions. But the claim to the name of the neighboring state will live up to complete exhaustion of the parties, because it is in the field of emotions, not reason. The pressure of Greece on the impoverished and sparsely populated former Yugoslav republic is so strong that it could be allowed, for example, to strengthen the defense of the islands bordering Turkey.
And Russia is always ready to help by delivering C-300, diesel submarines and coastal-based missile systems.
The same story and with the church conflict. Who ever said that Athens and Athos have a monopoly on Orthodoxy and administrative regulation of church issues? Most of the Greek-speaking hierarchs of the Eastern Churches since the time of Alexander I are on Russian dependency and have retained their flock only thanks to Russian patronage, including military force. Athos, incidentally, has long been the source of the spread of various heresies, including administrative, precisely because of the super-influence of the Orthodox Church in Greece, which legally participates even in the authorized capital of the state bank of the country. The European Union has long been sharpening its teeth, but in Athens for some reason they do not consider this an interference in internal affairs. But the attempt on the "upcoming role" of Greek-speaking hierarchs is perceived in Athens as the very "disrespect" and "insult of values."
In fact, no one in Moscow is going to interfere in the internal affairs of Greece, which it launched to a very difficult state. Suffice it to recall that Athens has long become the informal capital of radical leftist (Trotskyist, Maoist, etc.) youth movements, which once a month burn something and smash.
And Moscow does not ask from Greece for the extremely unfriendly reception that Russian football fans and even officially accredited television commentators in Thessaloniki had on the Champions League's match between Spartak and PAOK last week. By the way, Ivan Savvidi owns the PAOK club, a Russian citizen with an ambiguous reputation, but he should not behave like that.
Where is the traditional value of Greek foreign policy, if on a match with the Russian team for some reason they hung out for half a stadium the slogan "Macedonia is only Greece" and beat everyone who is not like the Greeks? Yes, so that the evacuation of commentators from Thessalonica was on the bus and the plane "Spartacus." Our even in court could not file for causing bodily harm, because the Greek police recommended not to show off and quickly get out of the stadium and out of the country in general. At the second leg in Moscow, by the way, no one touched the Greeks with their finger, for which they specially watched. The only thing - Savvidi was asked not to take a pistol with him, which he usually goes to matches of the Greek regular season, and he, like a simple oligarch, bought himself a box at the stadium "Spartacus", where proudly and independently, like all Greek foreign policy, sat alone , but I wanted to go without a ticket purely for ponta. Also, let's offend the insult?
Consider the national character, the peculiarities of the mentality and historical reminiscences - without this there is no effective foreign policy. It is also necessary to know and respect the partner. But the partner should not behave like in a sandbox, where they shared a doll with the wrong way and did not show proper respect. And if the conflict took place, it was decided to solve it within the current system of diplomatic relations, and not to address Zakharova's strange messages about "vengefulness."
It's not good to lead the Greeks into the example of the Turks (they can take it from such a heart), but we still remember how Ankara came to its throat after attacking a Russian plane in Syria and apologized, even if it used quite medieval linguistic formulations. And in the case of Athens, and no one was hurt, except pride in the values of Greek foreign policy.
Conflict can be settled in five minutes. You just have to stop sending angry letters and remember the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In our common history there is much more beautiful, positive and valuable than insults, all the more petty.