ATHENS – Offering only partial support for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis denouncing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the former foreign minister for the previous ruling SYRIZA blamed accused him of being “an outpost of the west,” without specifying if he meant the United States, NATO and European Union.
Speaking at the Leftists’ 3d Congress, Giorgos Katrougalos said Greece should abide by a doctrine that began with former premier Konstantine Karamanlis after a visit to Moscow in 1979 setting Greece in favor of peace and international law.
Katrougalos is now the foreign affairs party for the renamed SYRIZA that has been trailing Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party by 10-14 points by polls at the same time that Tsipras, citing what he said were failures in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and economy, keeps calling for snap polls.
Greece is not a country of “equal distances,” said Katrougalos, adding that while it’s in the European Union and it should be a “bridge between its political home base and other great powers,” without agitation.
He said that Mitsotakis, in a move against traditionally-close and fellow Orthodox country Russia, had made Greece parte of the Ukrainian crisis instead part of a solution – praising Turkey for that role.
He didn’t mention that Turkey had also sold drones to Ukraine being used to take out Russian tanks and positions and refused to back EU sanctions over the invasion, and has been threatening war against Greece if the maritime boundary is doubled from 6 to 12 miles.
SYRIZA opposed sending arms to Ukraine either to fend off an invasion and the siege of the port city of Mariupol, home to some 150,000 ethnic Greeks, where people are said starving to death.
Katrougalos said those who want the ouster of Russian President Vladimir Putin are essentially “prepared to sacrifice the Ukrainian people to their own political ambitions,” not ascribing any to his party.