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New era of geopolitical turmoil begins

As Russia’s incursion into Ukraine continued on Friday, reaching Kyiv, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitstotakis said that “Greece has always been on the right side of history and will be now.”

Speaking during his regular monthly meeting with the President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Mitsotakis said the European Union has shown unity and solidarity, taking decisions on very important sanctions, which will hit the Russian economy very hard.

At the same time, he also acknowledged there is no doubt “that we are at the beginning of a new era and that the geopolitical turmoil will also have economic consequences.”

Describing February 24 as a “dark day for Europe,” Mitsotakis argued that Russia’s invasion has dissolved the two assumptions upon which the whole structure of European architectural security was built.

These two assumptions, he said, are that no European state will have hegemonic ambitions and the inviolability of borders. 

He said the crisis also demonstrated the need for Europe itself to acquire a strong deterrent force, but also for the member-states to invest more in their national defense.

“It is now an inescapable reality and will be a European priority,” he said, noting that Greece already has done so, following its recent fighter jet and frigate purchases. 

Ahead of the meeting this weekend of EU interior ministers to discuss the Ukraine situation, and issues regarding a likely ensuing refugee crisis, Mitsotakis said Greece is ready to accept refugees. “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 said.

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 examine and immediately submit ideas on how to support consumers and entrepreneurs at a European level, adding that “we expect to discuss these proposals at the next meeting of the European Council.”