Kyiv Post: Mounting tensions between Athens and Moscow have exacerbated growing friction on NATO’s south-eastern flank, with the two traditional allies locked in an increasingly hostile war of words.
As evidence accumulates of the extraordinary lengths the Kremlin is willing to go to in order to thwart Nato’s expansion in the Balkans, the Greek foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, used two interviews at the weekend to publicly rebuke Russia. “Russia must realize that it cannot disrespect the national interests of another state because it feels it is stronger,” Kotzias told the Syntakton newspaper.
The Guardian adds “Greece has decided to send a message to the east and the west, towards all its friends and others, that regardless of who is violating the principles of national sovereignty and respect toward us, measures will be taken,” he told the state-run Athens news agency. “The time when turning a blind eye was considered diplomacy has passed.”
The rebuke came 11 days after prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist-led coalition announced it would expel the Russian envoys – and bar two others from re-entering the country – for activities it said violated Greek law. Early last week, Athens declared that it considered the matter closed.