ATHENS – Some 33 years after the Berlin Wall was brought down and he world thought that ended a Cold War with Russia, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the invasion of Ukraine is bringing it back.
He said the invasion that was predicted for weeks by the United States was the “undoing of the regime of peace and security” and brought back “a new cold war that no one knows how it will end.”
Speaking to Alpha TV, he said that, “We did not want this war; the West, the EU and NATO did not want it. Putin chose it and he will pay the consequences and, unfortunately, the Russian people will pay for them. The sanctions are already bringing the Russian economy to its knees and will hurt the weakest.”
That was in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin making the move to seize Ukraine, which he said wasn’t a country, and trying to revise the world map and history.
“I’m referring to President Putin and not to Russia because I believe that the majority of the Russian people did not want this war. Today Mariupol is under siege. A humanitarian catastrophe is taking place. It is absolutely imperative that hostilities stop now. Russia today is globally isolated,” he continued.
Mariupol is home to ethnic Greeks, 10 of whom were killed when the invasion began and is now besieged as Russian forces are occupying and encircling major cities in Ukraine.
Mitsotakis said that while a convoy of cars with Ukrainians of Greek descent had left Mariupol, “this does not mean that tens of thousands of Ukrainians of Greek descent are not in danger.”
“In this matter, Russia has chosen a tactic of violent bombing, which unfortunately will also mean bombing civilians,” he said, a frustrated Putin pumping up the brutality to deal with stiff resistance.
Mitsotakis said Greece will support EU sanctions, which have exempted two of Russia’s major banks to allow continued access to Russian oil and gas, which brings in as much as 40 percent of that country’s revenues.
ARMS FOR UKRAINE
Greece also took the bold step of sending military defense equipment to Ukraine which he said was “morally correct and a national imperative.”
He added: “With what moral standing could we ask for such assistance if we were in a similar situation. We had a reason to be on the right side of history.”
With worry that Turkey will take the chance to consider moving against Greece as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he covets return of islands ceded to Greece under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Mitsotakis said he thought though that “Turkey will reconsider its rhetoric”instead.
He said he would agree to meet with Erdogan, who has alernated between offering diplomacy with threats, including that it would be a cause for war if Greece doubles its seas limits from 6 to 12 miles.
“I believe that is a common feeling for such a meeting. We are two countries that make up the southeastern wing of NATO. It could be a trigger for lowering the tone. The rhetoric of revisionism is ‘out’ in the international climate,” said Mitsotakis.
Mitsotakis said Greece would reduce its dependence on Russian through the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will be fed into the national grid through gas regasification stations, including one being built in Alexandroupoli near Turkey’s border, with more being planned.
“This is the path we must follow and we have the ability to turn the crisis into an opportunity and make Greece an energy hub,” he said, the country still reliant on coal to generate electricity and power.
“I had a discussion today with the Egyptian President. We want to install a Greek-Egyptian electricity cable. This means that we will be able to get very cheap electricity from Egypt, which will be produced by the sun. Egypt can, for obvious reasons, produce this energy even cheaper than we do,” he said.
He said he also expected Greece to “become the gateway to Europe for hydrogen, which will become the new form of energy,” although that has seen Turkey trying to get in on the act now.