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Athens calls on Moscow to respect international law, says embassy statement ‘totally unacceptable’

Greece has called on Russia to respect international humanitarian law and cease attacks on civilian populations, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandros Papaioannou told state broadcaster ERT on Monday, as he criticized a statement by the country’s embassy in Athens which accused the government of “anti-Russian propaganda.”

Papaioannou was speaking a day after the Foreign Ministry lodged a demarche with the Russian Ambassador to Greece Andrey Maslov over aerial strikes on the Sartana and Buhas villages in eastern Ukraine in which 10 ethnic Greeks died.

“We reiterated to the Russian side that they have an obligation to respect international law. Respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity is non-negotiable,” Papaioannou said.

The spokesman also criticized an usually strongly-worded statement by the Russian embassy that was posted on social media on Sunday which accused the Greek government of “anti-Russian propaganda” and urged critics of Moscow’s actions to “sober up.” 

Papaioannou said that the phraseology of the statement was “totally unacceptable.”