“No attempt to redraw borders by force can be tolerated,” stressed Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday evening, in joint statements with visiting Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Addressing reporters after his meeting with Zelensky at Maximos Mansion, Mitsotakis added that Greece has also “faced manifestations of an aggressive authoritarianism,” but the country stands against any attempt to violate International Law and create fait accomplis on the ground, underlining that “something similar is also happening in Cyprus.”
Mitsotakis made a special reference to Greek diaspora in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, and condemned anew the Russian war crimes in Ukrainian territory.
The Greek premier also charged Russia with weaponizing natural gas to cause a global inflationary crisis, and he also referred to Moscow’s decision to breach the grain agreement, generating a food crisis of international proportions.
In terms Ukraine’s potential accession to the European Union, as well as its NATO integration prospect, Athens actively supports both, Mitsotakis stressed, adding that Greece will be present in the reconstruction of Ukraine, with an emphasis on the city of Odessa.
Referring to the meetings he initiated in Athens of several Western Balkans leaders and ministers as well as EU officials, Mitsotakis noted that the European path of Western Balkan states goes through their adaptation to the EU acquis, as well as the respect of International Law and human rights.
Thanking Mitsotakis for Greece’s contribution to Ukraine’s defence and the support for his country’s Euro-Atlantic integration, Zelensky expresed his satisfaction over Greece’s willingness to train pilots that will fly the F-16s that Kiyv expects from member countries of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC).
Zelensky also described the restoration of security in areas around the Black Sea as crucial, while he insisted that the unimpeded flow of grain through the Black Sea must be firmly established, thanking Greece anew for the valuable contribution of Greek ships to transporting the grain.
This is Zelenski’s first official visit to Greece and the first since Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, a visit outstanding since spring 2021 following an invitation by Mitsotakis. The Ukrainian president, whose visit was announced the day of his arrival for security reasons, will attend an informal dinner in which he will meet for the first time with the leaders of neighboring states, in the presence of EU leaders, in a move that conveys Greece’s strong support for Ukraine and the NATO prospects of the region, as well as Athens’ key role in this respect.
Zelensky’s visit underscores Greece’s key role in the region, government sources said, and in the NATO prospects of the Balkans and the European Neighbourhood Policy countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine).
Greece has joined the G7’s joint declaration of support for Ukraine, which includes the Alliance’s decisions and reconfirms the continuing defense of Ukraine and the economic support for its rebuilding both bilaterally and through the EU and NATO.