By no means is the release of the two Greek soldiers an issue of exchange with the Turkish authorities, Alternate Defence Minister Fotis Kouvelis said on Sunday in an interview with Realnews newspaper.

Kouvelis stressed that Greece is a country that acts on the basis of the rules of law.

Regarding the issue of the two Russian diplomats, the Alternate Defence Minister said: "The Greek government's decision to expel two Russian diplomats is absolutely justified as it involved actions of intervention in Greece's domestic affairs."

He underlined however that Greece has good relations with Russia and that this "tension will not have long-lasting effects on the two countries' relations."