ATHENS – The way that the Russian embassy addressed Greece was “wholly unacceptable,” foreign ministry spokesperson Alexandros Papaioannou said on Monday, in statements to the Greek public broadcaster ERT.
“We repeated to the Russian side that they have an obligation to respect international law,” Papaioannou said, noting that the ambassador had been summoned to the foreign ministry on Sunday over the killing of 10 members of the Greek Diaspora in Ukraine.
“Respect for the sovereignty and territorial independence of Ukraine is non-negotiable, as it is for every other country, and this is the gospel for Greek foreign policy according to Nikos Dendias,” the spokesperson added.
He also noted that embassies must play a specific role, with communication that preserves a good and positive climate between the two sides, which was not the case with the Russian embassy, whose actions were unacceptable.
Commenting on the Russian embassy’s announcement regarding the decision to light Greek Parliament with the colours of Ukraine’s flag – which called on Greeks to “snap out of it” – Papaioannou said that the language used was incompatible with diplomatic practice.
He also stressed that the Greek foreign ministry had evidence, on the basis of which it had summoned the Russian ambassador: “It was stressed that air raids were carried out with the result that 10 of our expatriates were killed and that Russian is obliged to respect humanitarian law.”
The spokesperson reported that roughly 100 Greeks have declared that they want to return at the Greek consulates in Odessa and Mariupol, while the number of Greeks in Kiev is less than 30. There are also two ships with Greeks on board that are anchored in a port east of Odessa.
“With the military law, no ship can leave the port. Our consul is in contact with the crews and at the first opportunity, we will see what we can do. There are six Greek sailors on one and seven on the other,” he said.
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