ΜΟSCOW – Russia has stepped up pressure on Greece for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ backing of Ukraine after it was invaded, warning there will be consequences and that Ukraine will lose the war.
The moves reportedly include adding more diplomatic pressure after Greece backed off sending more weapons to Ukraine and went along with the European Union exempting buying Russian energy from sanctions.
President Vladimir Putin, said Kathimerini, believes that there is an “anti-Russia” front over the invasion of Ukraine that he has called a “military operation,” jailing any journalist who says otherwise.
Greece’s ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense got calls complaining about an agreement with Germany to send some Greek armored combat vehicles to Ukraine in exchange for German infantry fighting vehicles, the report said.
Sources not named told the paper that the communication included threatening language, stressing that Russia will prevail in Ukraine and use the victory to retaliate against countries who didn’t support Putin.
Yuri Pilipson, Director of the Fourth European Department at the Russian Foreign Ministry told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency that Greece’s approach is destroying years of improved relations.
Pilipson said that “Greek authorities were among the first to send weapons to Ukraine, which the Ukrainian Armed Forces use daily against civilians in Donbas,” not mentioning that Russia is killing civilians, including children.
He added that “new deliveries are already being discussed by the Kiev regime of the military equipment that Greece has,” ratcheting up the vise on Greece to now further back off helping Ukraine.
He stressed that Greece is distancing itself from the Russian energy market and “canceling cultural and humanitarian interactions … despite the fact that, according to opinion polls, 56 percent of Greeks would like to maintain traditional ties with Russia,” and undercut the ties.
He also complained about Greece having booted a dozen diplomats from the Russian Embassy in Athens and Consulate-General’s office in Thessaloniki but also said that “the age-old ties that connect the peoples of Russia and Greece will undoubtedly withstand the test,” leaving the door open a bit.