ATHENS – Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday announced a humanitarian mission to Mariupol, which he intends to accompany, after his meeting with the Greek Consul General in Mariupol, Manolis Androulakis, who returned to Greece on Sunday.
“I am requesting today in an official note sent to the Ukrainian side that it facilitate and another note to the Russian side not to hinder the sending of humanitarian aid to Mariupol. I intend to accompany this mission in person, in coordination with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Mauer, with whom we are already in contact,” Dendias noted.
“Unfortunately, the war in Ukraine continues unabated. The priority of the Greek government is the protection of our expatriates, but also of the civilian population,” he said.
Therefore, he also announced that a coordination and reception group will be set up in Bucharest, headed by Fragiskos Kostelenos with the participation of the Ambassador to Bucharest, Sofia Grammata, Odessa’s Consul General Dimitris Dochtsis and Manolis Androulakis, who will depart soon.
He also stressed the need to protect the civilian population in his speech at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday and in his personal meeting with EU High Representative Josep Borrell, whom he asked to make public statements about Mariupol.
“Greece will continue to be present in the region. In an area where the Greek element has been established for centuries,” Dendias said, and stressed that “the first step, when things return to normal, will be the reconstruction of the maternity hospital of Mariupol. And beyond that, our coordination with the EU to do what we can to return it to its previous state and to facilitate our expatriates to return to normalcy after the tragedy.”