Russia’s unexpected invasion of Ukraine represents the “undoing of the regime of peace and security” and has ushered in “a new cold war that no one knows how it will end,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday.
“We did not want this war; the West, the EU and NATO did not want it. Putin chose it and he will pay the consequences and, unfortunately, the Russian people will pay for them. The sanctions are already bringing the Russian economy to its knees and will hurt the weakest,” Mitsotakis told private broadcaster Alpha TV.
“And I’m referring to President Putin and not to Russia because I believe that the majority of the Russian people did not want this war. Today Mariupol is under siege. A humanitarian catastrophe is taking place. It is absolutely imperative that hostilities stop now. Russia today is globally isolated,” he continued.
He said while convoy of cars with Ukrainians of Greek descent had already left besieged Mariupol, “this does not mean that tens of thousands of Ukrainians of Greek descent are not in danger.”
“In this matter, Russia has chosen a tactic of violent bombing, which unfortunately will also mean bombing civilians.”
The prime minister described the decision to send military defense equipment to Ukraine “as morally correct and a national imperative.”
“With what moral standing could we ask for such assistance if we were in a similar situation. We had a reason to be on the right side of history.”
He believed that “Turkey will reconsider its rhetoric” towards Greece in light of recent events. He said he was “open to meeting with the Turkish president.”
“I believe that is a common feeling for such a meeting. We are two countries that make up the southeastern wing of NATO. It could be a trigger for lowering the tone. The rhetoric of revisionism is ‘out’ in the international climate.”
Turning to energy issues, Mitsotakis said Greece would reduce its dependence on Russian through the importation of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will be fed into the national grid through gas regasification stations, such as the one being constructed in Alexandroupoli.
More such stations were being planned he said.
“This is the path we must follow and we have the ability to turn the crisis into an opportunity and make Greece an energy hub.”
“I had a discussion today with the Egyptian president. We want to install a Greek-Egyptian electricity cable. This means that we will be able to get very cheap electricity from Egypt, which will be produced by the sun. Egypt can, for obvious reasons, produce this energy even cheaper than we do.”
He also expected Greece to “become the gateway to Europe for hydrogen, which will become the new form of energy.”