The dramatic developments in Ukraine have justified the political choices of the government, which has invested in Greece’s defense and deterrence, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Referring to the revisionism pervading Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Mitsotakis hinted at Turkey’s aspirations in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Let’s not forget that revisionism continues to hurt Cyprus, while it also lurks in our neighborhood,” he said, a thinly disguised reference to Turkey’s recurring challenges against Greek sovereignty.
“Freedom and democracy cannot become hostages of authoritarianism and the clock of the 21st century should not point backward, but forward,” he said, adding that this is a message “which I believe is shared by all Greek women and all Greek men.”
Referring to the public debate, whether or not Greece could remain uninvolved in the war, he stressed that keeping equal distances between perpetrators and victims ultimately legitimizes a crime.
“The easy ‘no to war’ is a wish, but it is not political,” he said, as he once again defended Greece’s decision to stand by Ukraine along with its Western allies as Russia’s invasion continues.
“The key message is that Greece stands on the right side of history,” Mitsotakis said, echoing his remarks in Parliament on Tuesday.
“[Greece is standing by] its diaspora population and by a country under attack,” he said.
The conservative premier also underscored Greece’s status as a Western nation and NATO member.
Greece, he stressed, is on the eastern border of Europe, and knows full well what is happening beyond that. And precisely because Greece is on the edge of the European continent, it is also in its heart. “In Eastern Europe, but always in the center of the West… We are the West and we belong to freedom,” he said.
He also referred in detail to the economic impact of the war, and the soaring prices, assuring that the Greek government, in addition to the 2 billion euros that has already been allocated to support households and businesses, will continue to be on the side of the most vulnerable.
He also announced that he would further promote the Greek proposal for European support for the absorption of price increases, “which should be our first political priority.”