Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias expressed Greece’s solidarity with Ukraine and pledged support for the reconstruction of Odessa, a picturesque Black Sea port city and home to a sizeable ethnic Greek community that was hit by Russian missile strikes, during a meeting with Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishyna on Sunday.
“I came here to reiterate the support of the Greek government… and to manifest the close relation we have with Odessa, its past, and may I express the hope, with its future,” Dendias said according to a statement from the Foreign Ministry in Athens.
“What is clear even beyond the smoke of today’s bombs is that Odessa will have a bright future… We are going to be part of this future by helping you reconstruct this city and make it even more beautiful, even better,” Dendias said.
Missiles struck Odessa in the early hours of Sunday, the city council said in an online post.
According to the statement, Dendias visited the building of the Filiki Etairia (Society of Friends), a Greek revolutionary secret society created by merchants in 1814 to overthrow Ottoman rule in Southeast Europe and to establish an independent Greek state. He said Russian strikes had not damaged the building, adding that all precious items had been stored in the basement for protection.
“We very much appreciate the fact that you protected our common heritage,” Dendias said.