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Mitsotakis: Greece ready to accept Greek refugees from Ukraine

Greece is ready to accept refugees from Ukraine from the Greek communities there, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday.

“Greece will stand by the Greek communities in Ukraine and especially the community in Mariupol. If there are Greeks who want to leave Ukraine we will warmly welcome them,” he told President Katerina Sakellaropoulou in a meeting at the Presidential Mansion.

His comments come as EU interior ministers are set to discuss at a meeting this weekend the Ukraine situation, and issues regarding a likely ensuing refugee crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In addition, Mitsotakis informed Sakellaropoulou that he will brief MPs on developments in Ukraine, at a special sitting of parliament on Tuesday, expressing the hope that “there will be complete national unanimity on addressing this major challenge.”

“We should be prepared for substantial turbulence in the energy market,” he added.

He expressed his satisfaction that EU leaders had agreed to his proposal that the European Commission to examine and immediately submit ideas on how to support consumers and entrepreneurs at European level, adding that “we expect to discuss these proposals at the next meeting of the European Council.”

On her part, President Sakellaropoulou said that the issue at stake overall was the system of values of both the EU and of a country that believed in these values, adding that Europe should remain united.

“I think of these people. Nobody expected to become a refugee. The Ukrainian people that are suffering at this time should have the opportunity to stay in their country and Russia must be persuaded to leave and this crisis must end,” Sakellaropoulou said, adding that EU member states should put their economic interests to one side when facing the need to defend European values.