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Report: Greece To Expel, Ban Russian Diplomats

Supporters of opposition party VMRO-DPMNE hold Russian and Macedonian flags as they take part in a protest over the compromise solution in Macedonia's dispute with Greece over the country's name in Skopje last month.

Greece will expel two Russian diplomats and ban entry to another two over suspicions they attempted to undermine a deal between Athens and Macedonia last month, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reports.

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on July 11 that Athens would not tolerate any behavior that violates international law. His remarks were in response to Kathimerini's report that Greece would expel Russian diplomats for activities inconsistent with their status.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said it would respond in kind to the expulsions, Interfax news agency reported.

Kathimerini reported that Athens ordered the expulsions and bans after perceived attempts by the Russian diplomats to undermine a deal Greece brokered with Macedonia last month that ended a decades-old standoff over its name.

The two countries agreed to the renaming of the former Yugoslav republic's name to North Macedonia.

The deal is expected to pave the way for Macedonia to join NATO in a region where Russia and the West are jostling for influence.

Based on reporting by Kathimerini, Reuters, and Interfax