Greek Political Leaders Discuss Effects of War in Ukraine

ATHENS – Greece’s political leadership discusses the impact of the war in Ukraine in parliament.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis briefS the parliament on the Ukraine war and the consequences for Greece, followed by the positions of the opposition party leaders.

Mitsotakis: We have always been on the right side of history

“[Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s decision is a clear violation of the UN Charter and the rules for settling interstate disputes by peaceful means,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday in parliament. The Russian president, “through the use of force, is questioning the territorial integrity of a country with which Russia has close ties, causing deaths – including those of Greeks in Mariupol – and forcing hundreds of thousands of citizens into migration,” he added.

“This is a violent return to the era of hegemony. In a place where the Holocaust took on very severe dimensions and in a place where Ukrainians and Russians united fought the Nazis,” Mitsotakis underlined, noting that Russia’s pretext of supposedly “denazifying” Ukraine is tenuous.

“This is an irrational and unhistorical invasion. The Russian invasion is aimed at forcibly changing the security architecture in Europe,” he said, adding that “the Russian threats against Sweden and Finland speak for themselves. The West is called to be re-baptized. When the Russian provocation hit the core of the global geopolitical balance, delays in the West were overcome within days … The effects of Western sanctions are already visible. The Russian economy is being crushed.”

“The Greek stance is a result of our historical experience and global balances,” the prime minister stated, adding: “We have always been on the right side of history and that is what we are doing now. We are also part of the West and we promote international legitimacy. We live with the issue of Cyprus and we receive threats to our islands. We can not stand by indifferently before authoritarian leaders who want to redesign the borders.”

“There is no room for equal distances here. Either you are with peace and international law, or you are against them,” Mitsotakis said.

“To those who wonder if the specific sanctions are enough to curb Moscow’s aggression, I answer that it is a huge blow,” he stated and added: “It is the largest package of sanctions adopted by the EU. In the short term, it shakes Russia’s geopolitical and economic position while mobilising world public opinion, even within Russia. The international blockade can soon trigger an internal reflection.”

Tsipras: Prudence, combined with humanitarian sensitivity and determination, demanded

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine plunges a European country into the darkness of war, into blood and destruction, and takes Europe and all of humanity back to dark and dangerous times,” stated main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras in parliament on Tuesday, during a discussion on the developments in Ukraine and their repercussions for Greece.

Tsipras noted that the situation called for “national prudence, humanitarian sensitivity, political honesty and determination”.

He underlined that all sides have a duty to unequivocally condemn Russia’s invasion, the violation of Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty and the “unacceptable revisionist rationale” on which it was based, as well as to express their full solidarity and support for the Ukrainian people, while extending the deepest condolences to the families of the Greeks in the Mariupol area who were killed during the Russian invasion.

“We have an obligation to make it absolutely clear that the results of President Putin’s actions harm and will continue to harm not just humanity but also the Russian people and their interests,” he added.

Tsipras also noted that “the international community and especially the EU must support the people of Ukraine and use all the available diplomatic means in order for the attack to end immediately, for the Russian forces to withdraw and for a reliable path of diplomacy and peace to open. The sanctions should be a tool for peace and not a tool for the continuation of the conflict using other means,” he said.


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