The conservative government has said it regrets the appearance of a serviceman of the Azov Battalion, a far-right militia now part of Ukraine’s National Guard, during Ukrainian President Vlodymyr Zelenskyy’s virtual speech in the Greek Parliament Thursday.
The country’s leftist SYRIZA opposition criticized the government over the incident and demanded an explanation from House Speaker Kostas Tassoulas.
Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said the appearance of the man, who identified himself as an ethnic Greek fighting in Mariupol, was “mistaken and off the mark.”
Oikonomou, nevertheless, slammed SYRIZA for allegedly “using that mistake… to justify the Russian invasion.”
“It is time for a clear answer: are they on the side of the Ukrainians, who are fighting for their freedom, or [on the side of] Putin’s invaders?,” he said.