Lavrov visit to Greece postponed; Moscow expected to retaliate over diplomats' expulsion

Thursday, 19 July 2018 13:33
UPD:19:15
REUTERS/GRIGORY DUKOR

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reacts ahead of a joint news conference of U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

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The Tass news agency on Thursday reported that a scheduled visit to Greece by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has been postponed.

If confirmed, the development would be linked with the recent expulsion of two Russian diplomats in Greece and the ban on entering to another two. Widespread media reports in Greece and abroad claim Athens expelled the pair over their attempts to stir up opposition in northern Greece to a recently signed bilateral agreement resolving the fYRoM "name issue" separating Greece and its northern neighbor.

In a later reaction conveyed over the state-run news agency, diplomatic sources in Athens merely noted that Lavrov is always welcome in Greece.

The Russian ambassador to Greece, Andrey Maslov, had previously confirmed the Tass report, saying that autumn was judged as inappropriate for a visit to the country by the Russian foreign minister.

Moreover, Maslov said Moscow will retaliate and expel Greek diplomats from Russia. 

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