NEWS

US presence in Alexandroupoli irks Russia

US presence in Alexandroupoli irks Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov expressed Moscow’s dismay on Friday at the increased US presence in Greece’s northern port of Alexandroupoli.

Lavrov made the comments at his annual news conference in Moscow.

Asked about the prospect of NATO military equipment being transferred via the Greek port, the Russian foreign minister said while he understands that Greece is a member of NATO and the European Union, “at the same time, we see that Greece is unwilling to go down the road of additional sanctions against Russia. Greece is not happy with ongoing developments between the West and the Russian Federation.”

“We trust that our Greek friends, with their wisdom, will make a decision that reflects their convictions,” he added, while referring to the recent telephone conversation he had with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, which he described as “very good.”

Lavrov said he raised the issue of the new steps taken in Greek-American relations to strengthen the status of the port of Alexandroupoli for the purposes of the US Navy, and that Moscow has understood how the US will use the port.

His remarks came days after Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peshkov said that weapons systems had been transferred to Ukraine via the port of Alexandroupoli.

Lavrov also referred to the historical dimension of Greek-Russian relations and noted the “historical roots with the Greek people, with Greece as a country.”

“We remember [Ioannis] Kapodistrias, who became the first governor of modern Greece, after his tenure in Russia, in fact on the front of foreign diplomacy,” Lavrov said, adding that the current bilateral relations “are indeed rich in all directions, including in the field of security.”