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Russian Federation complains FYROM being sucked into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by force

14 July 2018

Separately on Wednesday, Athens said it would expel two Russian diplomats suspected of involvement in rallies in Greece against the Macedonian name deal.

Skopje reached an agreement with Athens last month to rename the country the Republic of North Macedonia in a bid to resolve a dispute that has poisoned relations between the two countries since 1991.

The invitation on Wednesday came at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit at which USA president Donald Trump demanded more military spending by some allegedly deadbeat allies, as countries like Canada and Britain committed more to new manpower than new money.

Greek news outlets reported the expulsions Wednesday, adding that two other Russian envoys were banned from entering Greece.

The government was compelled to act after receiving evidence of "specific actions", the official said. It's unclear if they have already left.

Mevlut Cavusoglu (May-VLOOT CHA-voosh-oh-loo) insists "Turkey is a sovereign country" and says its acquisition of the S400 anti-aircraft system came only because it needed such a system and ran out of other options, such as from the United States. In a message posted on Twitter, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said: "We support Greece defending its sovereignty".

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British Prime Minister Theresa May says Donald Trump's meeting with Vladimir Putin could help reduce the risk of confrontation between Russian Federation and the West.

"Once all national procedures have been completed to finalize the name agreement, the country will join NATO as our 30th member", NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that diplomatic expulsions typically bring a tit-for-tat response, but underlined the importance of Russia-Greece ties.

Russian officials also allegedly tried to bribe local government officials and senior clergymen and to interfere in negotiations to end Greece's longstanding dispute with neighboring Macedonia over its name. It is opposed by nationalists in both countries, some of whom have held demonstrations.

But in a sign of continuing Russian interest in the region, Serbian authorities have announced that President Vladimir Putin will visit Belgrade in the autumn.

Russian Federation complains FYROM being sucked into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation by force