BUCHAREST – Russia’s recent moves in eastern Ukraine “constitutes an outright violation” of International Laws, Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the Minsk agreements, and “are expressions of revisionism, and endanger global security,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday, during joint statements with Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
During his official visit to Bucharest, Mitsotakis referred to the Russian decision to recognize unilaterally the independence of self-styled democracies of Donetsk and Luhansk. The Greek premier reiterated that “respect of the territorial integrity and independence of all states is a fundamental principle of Greek foreign policy, and because of this we unequivocally condemn all initiatives contravening these values – as members of the EU and NATO we coordinate with our partners so that our reaction is both joint and substantial.”
In addition, Mitsotakis said, the Greek foreign policy’s key concern is the protection of Greek communities in Ukraine, which have a twenty-centuries-old history. “Europe is called upon to respond to an issue of international security. Us Europeans know after all that violence and instability never benefited anyone,” prime minister said.
Mitsotakis said Greece has taken all necessary measures to guarantee the supply of power. The conclusions, he said, from the situation is that the transition to the green economy must be accelerated so that weaker families are not hurt; that Greece should reduce its dependence on natural gas from Russia; and that the EU should take short-term measures to support homes and businesses, something that he planned to raise at the next EU Summit. He added that Romania can also provide natural gas.
The Greek premier also noted that Greece and Romania have had a long history as allies, and Greece supports Romania’s request to join the Schengen countries, which will benefit its society and economy. Bilateral trade amounts to 2.2 billion euros, with opportunities to expand, while Romanian tourists to Greece are significant, amounting to 1 million in 2019. He also thanked Romanian firefighters for their contribution to fighting summer fires in 2021.
Romanian PM Ciuca
On his part, Romanian PM Nicolae Ciuca said the Greek premier’s visit confirmed good relations between the two peoples, and referred to a memorandum of collaboration signed on issues of cultural protection.
Romania, he noted, has “unequivocally condemned the Russian violation of international right by recognizing the so-called independence,” as such actions contribute to further worsening European security. He underlined the need to boost NATO’s eastern flank and said diplomatic efforts were intense. Romania and Greece share interests and views on the issue.
Ciuca said they discussed energy connectivity issues, transport issues and the pandemic, as well as Romania’s efforts to join the Schengen Treaty. They also discussed, he added, migration flows, and expressed the hope that there is progress toward the new EU agreement on migration and asylum so that an effective system is put into action. In addition, he expressed Romania’s support for Greece on East Mediterranean developments.
Following their meeting, the two prime ministers signed a joint declaration for the further promotion of bilateral economic and political collaboration between Greece and Romania.
In the framework of Mitsotakis’ visit, the Climate Crisis & Civil Protection minister and his Romanian counterpart signed a memorandum of understanding on issues of poltical protection.
At 19:00 local time, Mitsotakis will attend an official dinner in his honor by the Romanian prime minister.