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Politics

Oikonomou: Greece’s Foreign Policy Is One of Stability, Principles

ATHENS – In addition to the sixth package of sanctions against Russia, the special European Council meeting decided to issue clear instructions to the European Commission to examine ways to decouple the cost of electricity from that of natural gas, government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou said in the press briefing on Thursday.

This included placing a ceiling on wholesale prices of natural gas, an idea put forward by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that now enjoys broader support, he added.

With reference to relations with Turkey, Oikonomou emphasised that Greece’s foreign policy was consistent and based on principles, such as respect for international law, while it would not back down on issues concerning national sovereignty and the associated rights. He described Greece as a factor for stability and peace in the region, saying this was reflected in the support from its allies.

Regarding RepowerEU and the use of unspent Recovery and Resilience Facility funds to finance the green energy transition, he stressed that Greece will actively claim its fair share when the allocation process is finalised.

He also noted Greece’s support for the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to set up a maritime corridor in the Black Sea for the export of some 20 million tonnes of grain currently trapped in Ukraine due to Russia’s blockade.

The prime minister briefed his EU counterparts at the European Council about Turkey’s heightened aggressiveness in recent weeks, Oikonomou added, and asked that the issue be discussed again at the regular summit in June if Turkey persists in this behaviour, so that a clear and explicit condemnation can be added to its conclusions.

“The last thing that our sensitive region needs at a time when world peace and international stability is being threatened is yet another sources of tension,” the spokesperson said, adding that Greece will always reply to its neighbours’ provocations calmly and confidence, as it has international law on its side, along with its allies and an increasingly strong deterrent capability in order to defend the country’s sovereignty and sovereign rights.

He noted statements made in support of Greece, such as those made French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s clear shift away from a “policy of equal distances” on Wednesday.

The German chancellor has said that attempts to dispute the sovereignty of EU member-states is not acceptable, while all the allies in NATO must strive to be united at this time and refrain from provoking one another.

On high power prices, he said the figures showed that Athens remained at the lower end of the range and that the government’s plan was working.

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