Greece to 'expel Russian diplomats' over FYR Macedonia deal

Greece to 'expel Russian diplomats' over FYR Macedonia deal
By Chris Harris
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Greece will expel two Russian diplomats and ban entry to another two amid suspicions they tried to undermine an agreement between Athens and neighbouring country FYR Macedonia, according to Greek media reports.

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Greece will expel two Russian diplomats and ban entry to another two amid suspicions they tried to undermine an agreement between Athens and neighbouring country FYR Macedonia, according to Greek media reports.

Russia's foreign ministry said it would respond in kind to the expulsions.

Greece decided to expel the diplomats over claims they tried to undermine an agreement between Athens and Skopje over a long-running name dispute, according to the Kathimerini newspaper.

Last month the two countries signed an agreement that if approved will see FYR Macedonia change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

That is because Athens has long been upset FYR Macedonia is too similar to a region in northern Greece called Macedonia.

Greece’s government did not respond directly to the reports but its spokesman said it would not tolerate any behaviour which violates international law.

The deal between Greece and FYR Macedonia is expected to ease the admission of the small but strategically-important state into the EU and NATO, in a region where Russia and the West are jostling for influence.

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