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Mitsotakis urges NATO colleagues to implement sanctions on Russia

Mitsotakis urges NATO colleagues to implement sanctions on Russia

Revisionism is the main threat to world peace and should not be tolerated, no matter where it comes from, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told an emergency summit of NATO countries on Friday.

Mitsotakis took part via video link in the summit, which was also attended by the leaders of Sweden, Finland and the European institutions.

The Prime Minister stressed that Russia’s aggressive actions violate international law and are a blow to European and international security and stability.

He reiterated the Greek position on respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of all countries, and condemned in the strongest possible terms the Russian revisionist actions that run counter to those values.

The Prime Minister also proposed that all NATO member states commit to implementing the framework of sanctions against Russia decided by the European Union.

Russian aggression in Ukraine highlighted the need for European strategic autonomy and the strengthening of NATO’s European security pillar, he said, which requires EU member states to spend more on their defense. He welcomed the fact that several of the allies had stated their intention to increase their defense budgets and to further assist the alliance.

Mitsotakis also underlined the need for gradual detachment from Russian gas.

Speaking after chairing the NATO meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that US President Joe Biden and his counterparts have agreed to send parts of the organization’s response force to help protect allies in the east over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said the leaders decided to send parts of the NATO Response Force and elements of a quickly deployed spearhead unit. He did not say how many troops would be deployed, but confirmed that the move would involve land, sea and air power.

Stoltenberg also said that Russia was trying to topple the government in Kyiv.

“We are now deploying the NATO response force for the first time in the context of collective defense,” he told a news conference following a virtual summit.

The NRF can number up to 40,000 troops, but Stoltenberg said that NATO would not be deploying the entire force. Parts of a force known in NATO jargon as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), which is currently led by France, will also be sent. [AMNA, Reuters, AP]