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Greece ‘supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity,’ says PM

Greece will support the territorial integrity of Ukraine if it is invaded by Russia but firmly believes in the need for open lines of communication, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in Brussels on Thursday, as Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias heads to Moscow.

“We reconfirmed our absolute unity, our support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity and our determination to act in a coordinated manner and in consultation with our Euro-Atlantic allies, in the event of an invasion by Russia on Ukraine,” Mitsotakis said in comments to the press following an informal meeting of the European Council ahead of the African Union-European Union Summit.

“At the same time, we also reconfirmed our faith in dialogue and in the need for all the channels of communication with Russia to remain open, be it through the Normandy format, the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] or through bilateral contacts between EU member-states and Russia,” he added, referring to a meeting in June 2014 of German, French, Russian and Ukrainian officials in the northern French region.

Mitsotakis added that Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is heading to Moscow on Friday, where he will be holding talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov to discuss developments in the region.

“Greece has an intense interest in these regional developments because there are tens of thousands of ethnic Greeks living in Ukraine,” he said.

“We want to keep all the channels of communication open. We are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst,” Mitsotakis added.