President Katerina Sakellaropoulou expressed Greece’s undivided support and solidarity to the heroic Ukrainian people who are already facing nine months of the Russian invasion, she said in statements after meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Thursday.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine “concerns us all,” she added. “Through the brutal violation of International Law, the threat of a generalized food crisis – which will especially hit weaker countries – and the threat of nuclear disaster, an attempt is being made to overturn the post-war acquis of peace and progress,” she noted. “This is a direct challenge to liberal democracy and European values, therefore the European Union and the international community should defend security and stability against revisionism.”
She also noted Greece’s unwavering position that it “will never recognize the illegal annexation of areas in Ukraine that Russia is trying to enforce.”
“We will not forget the [war] crimes committed in Mariupol against its innocent and peaceful inhabitants, a city with a Greek name and with a significant population of Greek descent,” she underlined.
The Greek president also strongly condemned the “unacceptable Russian attacks aimed at destroying critical urban infrastructure in Ukraine ahead of the coming winter,” which constitute war crimes, as they target civilians. “Greece strongly supports the attribution of accountability to those responsible for these crimes,” she stressed.
In terms of EU sanctions against Russia, Sakellaropoulou noted that “despite the significant negative repercussions on the economy, Greece has supported and fully implements all sanctions the EU imposed against Russia.”
Zelensky: Ukraine not participating in G20 Summit if Putin attends
Ukraine will not participate in the G20 Summit if Russian President Vladimir Putin attends, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated explicitly on Thursday in statements after a meeting in Kiev with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
At a joint press conference, Zelensky said, “Right now the Russian invasion is a threat for everyone in Europe. We demand unity, and only Ukraine alone can guarantee peace.
Calling the talks with Sakellaropoulou “very important”, he noted that Ukraine is working with the Greek side to put an end to Russia’s criminal attack the soonest possible so that Ukrainians can return to a normal life. “For this reason, we will develop collaboration in the defense, political, and humanitarian sectors,” he added.
During her tour of the country, the Greek president “saw a lot of what is going on in all of Ukraine today, not just at the front,” Zelensky said. He thanked the Greek president for the first batch of BMP armored vehicles, and said the two presidents discussed Greece’s capacity to help Ukraine restore its territorial integrity.
Freeing Ukraine from Russian invaders will also provide security in regions where a large Greek community has traditionally resided, Zelensky said, referring to over 100,000 ethnic Greeks living in regions of Ukraine. “Most villages of the Greek community have been destroyed by the Russian terrorists,” he underlined, adding that “all murderers and executioners must answer to their crimes against humanity,” while he expressed the hope that Greece will take an active part in such a special court against the crimes of Russia in Ukraine.
Zelensky said he and Sakellaropoulou discussed the policy of sanctions against Russia, especially the ninth package of sanctions by the European Union, and the issue that relates to the recognition of Ukraine’s famine by the Parliament of Greece.
Asked whether he was concerned that Russia would resort to nuclear weapons, the Ukrainian president said, “The use of nuclear weapons means World War Three. What could survive after the end of such a war? What meaning is there in discussing it? If Russia uses nuclear weapons, our world will become very different. The question is not that someone is responsible for an attack by nuclear weapons, but whether such people can guarantee the existence of their own country even. The actions of Russia on our land, the attacks it carries out on war targets, are also a barbarity.”