ATHENS – Nikos Kotzias, Foreign Minister for the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA and a devout Communist, has nevertheless condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and ironically drawn fire for doing so.
It wasn’t said who was going after him, whether other Leftists or Communists, including Greek Members of the European Parliament who voted against a resolution also denouncing Russia for the invasion.
But Kathimerini said that Kotzias, who served from January, 2015 to October, 2018 and was the architect of the deal giving away the name of Greece’s province of Macedonia to the abutting and newly-named North Macedonia, is under fire on social media.
“I support peace in Ukraine with an honest compromise, as happened with the Prespes (agreement with North Macedonia.) I am on the side of International Law and states’ territorial integrity. I consider Ukraine has a right to defend its existence. I am with the national resistance, with a war against dictatorship, with every people resisting an invader,” Kotzias tweeted.
That brought immediate vicious retorts, the paper said, calling them hostile commentary but without delineating what was said against him, who said or why he was targeted given his pro-Russian attitude.
He returned the shots.
“A response to nonsense: just think, given your mistaken passionate support of the Russian violation of international law and the principle of non-violation of borders whether it is the same Russia that finances extreme-right parties across Europe; it even provides them with loans.”
Kathimerini said he tweeted: “In 1994, the Budapest Agreement was signed by which Ukraine surrendered its nuclear weapons to Russia, in return for a guarantee that Russia will respect and guarantee the inviolability of Ukraine’s borders and Ukraine’s territorial integrity. We are talking about a Treaty, not (a rumor.)”
He quit his post after clashing at a cabinet meeting with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, a rightist whose party was a fringe junior partner in the SYRIZA-led government.
Kammenos later quit over the North Macedonia flap and Kotzias now leads a fringe party called Protto (I Act) he had also allied himself with, but not rejoined, SYRIZA.
In 2017, he won a suit against a Greek magazine which had printed a letter from a reader accusing him of being a former “fanatical” Stalinist in a ruling that at the time raised fears of the judicial system being meddled with.
In the European Parliament, two non-aligned members from Greece’s KKE Communist party, Kostas Papadakis and Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos said that its stance was against, “The imperialist war, which is the result of the imperialist competition for spheres of influence and wealth-producing resources that the resolution enhances, as it is moving in the dangerous direction of escalating the imperialist competition with EU-NATO military equipment and sanctions.”