Mitsotakis: There Must Be Uniform Implementation of Sanctions against Russia

BRUSSELS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis repeated Greece’s steadfast support for Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and its right to defend itself, during the emergency NATO summit in Brussels on Thursday, government sources reported.

He referred to the measures taken by Greece to support Ukraine with defence supplies and humanitarian aid from the first moment, as well as its support of the sanctions and the reception of 13,000 Ukrainian refugees who had arrived in Greece.

Regarding the sanctions against Russia, he stressed that they must be implemented uniformly by all NATO members in order to be effective.

The prime minister also spoke about the situation in Mariupol, a city with a large community of ethnic Greeks, and said the human losses there were a tragedy not only for Ukraine but also for Greece, which mourns deaths in the Greek community.

We will send a clear message that our Alliance is united in supporting Ukraine

The use of chemical weapons in Ukraine is something that “we should also prepare for,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said as he arrived for the NATO Summit in Brussels on Thursday. Asked whether the use of such weapons by Vladimir Putin in Ukraine would be a “red line”, Mitsotakis replied: “I hope that something of the kind will not happen but that doesn’t mean that we should not be prepared for this eventuality as well.”

“What is important is that we will send a very clear message today that our Alliance is completely united on the issue of supporting Ukraine, in this struggle for its existence. I also believe it is very important that many member-states of the European Union have understood, as a result of this crisis, that Europe must increase it geopolitical imprint and its defence spending,” Mitsotakis said.

He noted that Greece has been spending over 2 percent of its GDP on defence for a long time. European strategic autonomy will be entirely complementary to the Alliance, he said, adding that he expects this strong relationship to take a specific form at the Madrid summit in June.

Mitsotakis also asked if the sanctions on natural gas are necessary. “I believe that we should be very cautious in order to ensure that any measure we implement will not become more painful for the European citizens than it is for Russia. I believe that the package of measure we have imposed is strong” he answered.

Additonally, he underlined that “regarding Europe, what we should do is to move as fast as possible in order to minimise our reliance on the Russian oil and natural gas. This is the decision we reached in Brussels”.

Finally, we must ensure that we will use Europe’s collective power in the markets in order to bring about a reduction of natural gas rates.


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