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Politics

Mitsotakis Highlights Need for Common EU Response to Energy Crisis

September 6, 2022

ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis received the President of Slovakia, Zuzana Čaputová, at the Maximos Mansion on Tuesday during her first official visit to Greece. According to sources, the meeting confirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations between Greece and Slovakia, which have become stronger in recent years, while they discussed matters of international, regional and European interest with emphasis on energy and the green transition.

Mitsotakis underlined the need of a common European response to the energy crisis and noted, with reference to the upcoming EU energy ministers’ meeting on September 9, that the major challenges for European unity demand bold European decisions to support households and businesses.

He briefed Čaputová on the infrastructure that Greece is developing in order to serve as a hub for the import and transfer of energy to the Balkans and Europe, as well as for the transfer of ‘green’ electricity from Africa.

Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputova reviews the honor guard with her Greek counterpart Katerina Sakellaropoulou at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

The Greek prime minister then thanked her for the significant Slovakian presence in the UNFICYP peace-keeping force on Cyprus and the country’s positions on the Cyprus issue, which are centred on respect for international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

Mitsotakis stressed that revisionism and changes of borders cannot be tolerated, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made clear. With respect to Turkey’s escalating hostile rhetoric, he repeated that Greece’s fixed position supports dialogue on the basis of international law, the international law of the sea and good-neighbour relations. He said that it was unacceptable for Greece to be receiving threats that reach the point of disputing Greek sovereignty from a country that is an ally within NATO.

Welcoming the Slovakian president, Mitsotakis said:

“It is my great pleasure to welcome you to Greece, in the context of this official visit, which is proof of the excellent relationship of our two countries. We look forward to our discussion, not only as regards the bilateral parameters of our relationship but also the crucial challenges that we face as united Europe against Russian aggressiveness and, of course, the dramatic repercussions that this war is having on our economies, on the higher cost of living, the obligation to deal with the increased cost of energy on a European level. All these are significant challenges.”

“I also want to thank you again and to thank Slovakia because you always support us. You are always on the side of international law. We consider you a true friend and faithful ally of our country.”

Replying, Čaputová thanked him and also noted the very good level of bilateral relations, as well as the prospects for developing these further, including in energy.

Sakellaropoulou receives President of Slovakia Caputova at the Presidential Mansion

Slovakia’s President Zuzana Caputova, right, and her Greek counterpart Katerina Sakellaropoulou review the honor guard at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022.  (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

The excellent relations between Greece and Slovakia and the possibilities for their further improvement were confirmed at President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou’s meeting with visiting Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova at the Presidential Mansion on Tuesday.

The two presidents discussed the important international, regional and European issues with emphasis on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its repercussions.

Sakellaropoulou noted that the Greek-Slovakian relations are characterised by constructive cooperaation both on a bilateral and a multilateral level as the two countries share common principles and values and have the same commitment to international law.

In parallel, she underlined that “as EU member-states and allies in NATO we have sternly and unequivocally condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which disputes fundamental concepts of the internatioal law, such as the inviolability of borders and the rights of sovereign people to choose their political orientation”.

On her part, Caputova thanked Sakellaropoulou for the warm welcome and reiterated that relations between Greece and Slovakia are very close and constructive, expressing certainty that her visit to Greece will help to strengthen the relations between the two countries even further.

She also said that Greece for the Slovakians is a beautiful country which they love, it is not only a tourist destination but a place where they can create, particularly in business and in the sector of the economy”.

On the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she said that “as country it impacts us directly as one of the two sides is our neighbour,” highlighting the refugee crisis triggered by the war and the fact that more than “700,000 Ukrainians passed through Slovakia and 90,000 of them have temporarily remained.”

She said that crises should be addressed through the close cooperation of countries that share the same values, noting that for this reason part of the delegation that accompanies her to Greece are people from various portfolios, from various agencies as well as enterpreneurs.

After the meeting, at a special event, President Sakellaropoulou decorated Caputova with the Grand Cross of the The Order of the Redeemer. Οn her part the President of Slovakia decorated Sakellaropoulou with the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Double Cross.

At 19:30 on Tuesday, Sakellaropoulou will host an official dinner at the Presidential Mansion in honour of the President of Slovakia and her delegation.

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