NEWS

Greece sending assistance to Poland

In response to appeal, Athens dispatching transport means to help resettle Ukrainian refugees

Greece sending assistance to Poland

With Russian troops and forces reaching the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on Thursday, Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis said that Greece will send buses or airplanes to Poland to help resettle refugees from Ukraine after an appeal by the Polish government.

The appeal came as more than 1.2 million Ukrainians have sought refuge in the neighboring east European country. According to the latest UN figures, more than 2.3 million Ukrainians have fled since Russia’s February 24 attack. 

Reports on Thursday said that almost half the population of Kyiv has left as Russian shelling continued unabated and advancing troops tightened their grip around the city.

Mitarakis revealed that Greece can take in approximately 30,000 Ukrainian refugees and pointed out that if there are more, Greece could apply for emergency EU funding to cover the cost.

In an interview with SKAI TV, he said that over 7,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Greece since the start of the Russian invasion.

He added that they are almost immediately granted a 12-month residency permit, while the majority are staying with fellow Ukrainians who already live in Greece.

In a related development meanwhile, Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, leader of the Orthodox Christian world, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and President Vladimir Putin in particular, saying that he “has provoked the hatred of the whole world.”

“Mr Putin should not have done this,” Vartholomaios said, according to a transcript of an interview with CNN Turk last week, translated and quoted by the Washington Examiner.

“I repeat, he has done himself and his country an injustice because he has provoked the hatred of the whole world,” he was quoted as saying.

“We are entering a new era of cold war. We do not know what will happen next. I hope this cold war period will last a short time. I hope World War III won’t break out,” Vartholomaios continued.

The Istanbul-based spiritual leader also praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy for “set[ting] a very good example for his people” in his staunch resistance of the Russian invasion, while rebuking Putin for inflicting “a great injustice” on Ukraine.