The diplomatic scandal that undermined the relations between Russia and Greece, as it turned out, was well-directed. His organization was involved, apparently, personally American Ambassador to Athens Jeff Piette. Why is the US so hampering the establishment of relations between the two countries - and by what methods was this provocation organized?
In Athens, Moscow's response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats by the Greek Foreign Ministry was considered mirror. The source of RIA Novosti in the government circles of Greece took this with understanding, noting that the foreign ministry sent "diplomatic employees, but not diplomats".
About the decision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to declare persona non grata of several Greek diplomatic employees became known the day before. At the same time, Russia did not touch the "political section", consisting of only five people, which is key for the functioning of the diplomatic mission. Thus, the sales representative and responsible for the communication service of the Greek Embassy in Moscow were deported. He was also banned from entering the country by the head of the political bureau of the Foreign Minister of Greece, Jorgos Sakellariu, who is considered one of the closest associates of Foreign Minister Nikos Cotzias.
According to Kommersant, apart from Sakellariu, Russia closed the entry to the country to another Greek, whose name is not named. Thus, Moscow's response is completely mirrored - two expelled plus two with a ban on entry. According to the source of the newspaper, the expelled embassy staff is ordered to leave the country until Saturday.
An unprecedented diplomatic scandal between Greece and Russia broke out 11 July, when two Russian diplomats were expelled from the country through the Athenian newspaper Katimerini, and two more were banned from entering the country. They were accused of interfering in Greek internal affairs and undermining its national security. One of the possible reasons for the disagreement between the two countries was that the observers called Greece and Macedonia's agreement on changing the state's last name, which Moscow received without enthusiasm.
As a result, scheduled for the fall of Sergei Lavrov's visit to Athens was canceled. Even more scandalous of this story was given by a squabble between the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova and the Greek Foreign Ministry. A Russian diplomat suggested that Greece made a decision to expel Russians under pressure from outside, but in Athens these words were called "unfounded accusation."
In the message of the Russian diplomatic department, it was directly pointed out that the incident occurred with the NATO summit held in 11-12 July in Brussels. "Obviously, behind the anti-Russian decision of the Greek government, timed for the opening of the NATO summit, is Washington, which openly supported these actions in the statement of the State Department," the Foreign Ministry said. It is noteworthy that in the US, literally the day after the information was publicized about the expulsion of Russian diplomats, the representatives of the State Department, Heather Neuert, approved the decision of Athens, calling it the defense of Greek sovereignty.
And if the official Athens in an argument with Zakharova tried to emphasize their independence and independence, the source of "RIA Novosti" in the Greek government was talking about something else. The Greek authorities did not want to leak information about a diplomatic conflict with Russia, but after the publication in the newspaper "Katimerini", both sides "could not control the evolution of events," "the conflict began to gain momentum," he stressed.
"Katimerini" is considered a pro-Western publication, so the leak could occur from the United States Embassy in Athens, he said. Especially since the Western countries pressed on Greece, demanding in a sign of solidarity to send Russian diplomats under the pretext of "the case of Skripal." "The worsening of relations is not in the interests of Greece or Russia," the source said.
He believes that prior to the June visit of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Cotzias to Moscow, Athens had no plan to expel diplomats, otherwise the visit would not take place. "The meeting between Kotzias and Lavrov was excellent, many questions were discussed. Very well passed and the meeting of Kotzias with the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, "the source said. The source noted that
before the visit relations between Moscow and Athens were in stagnation and the parties were looking for a way out of the impasse.
If a leak to the newspaper really occurred from the American embassy, then the question naturally arises: how could information on the deportation of Russian diplomats by the Greek Foreign Ministry to the US diplomatic mission at all? Of course, we can assume that this is a brilliant job of getting information from the CIA's residence in Greece. However, it is much more likely that the Greeks shared this information with the Americans themselves, despite the loud words of Athens about independence.
Experts do not doubt that behind this scandal are the US, directly interested in the relations between Moscow and Athens being tense. Thus, the Greek journalist, correspondent of the MEGA channel Afanasii Avgerinos stated that nothing happens in Greece without the control and active participation of the US ambassador, Jeffrey Payette, and he can not even notice his activity even blind. According to the journalist, the Greek special services could not deal with the issue of the expulsion of Russian diplomats "without permission from similar American structures."
"Many people here believe that the American side decided to ask categorically its Greek friends to take measures ... Unfortunately, Greece becomes a clear American protectorate in the region. Despite the attempts of our government to hide this fact, few people in this do not believe.
Not all Greek leaders are subject to this line, but most of our ruling elite do nothing against it, "Avgerinos told VZGLYAD.
The reason for this, the desire of Americans to quarrel between Moscow and Athens, he explains by the desire of American diplomacy to strengthen its order in the Balkans. First of all, this is manifested in the desire of the United States to see Macedonia as a member of NATO as soon as possible and pressure on Serbia.
"The US needs a single anti-Russian front to be fixed here. Russia's traditional ties with the Balkans are known. The strengthening of Russian diplomacy in the region is also noticeable. Therefore, it is most likely an American attempt to respond to this strengthening, "the journalist said.
Meanwhile, opinion polls show that more than 60% of Greeks are against Greece's participation in NATO, as well as against the European Union. "These percentages go almost in parallel with the manifestation of an even greater sympathy for Russia, so Mr. Payette is actively working to change this activity," Afanasii Avgerinos is sure.
In this connection, the chairman of the Presidium of the Council for Foreign and Defense Policy, Fyodor Lukyanov, commented to the VZGLYAD newspaper that "
Russia absolutely in vain has arranged all this hysteria "and" quarrels with the country, which in principle is adjusted to us positively ".
In turn, Associate Professor of the Department of Political Theory MGIMO Cyril Koktysh called the organization of the US leaks, such as leaked to the Athenian newspaper information on the expulsion of Russian diplomats, the genre of information policy that existed since the period of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. "In nine cases out of ten, the leak is an imitation, this is a deliberate and understandable information policy," Koktysh told VZGLYAD.
He stressed that in addition to the United States, such methods are used by many other countries. "This is a universal device," the expert said. As such, there is no protection against such methods.