Zelenskyy in Greece to shore up support

Ukrainian president arrives in Athens in utmost secrecy, requests training of F-16 pilots

Zelenskyy in Greece to shore up support

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis conveyed to visiting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday that Greece will continue to support Ukraine and its Euro-Atlantic perspective in terms of defense and humanitarian aid.

Zelenskyy, who arrived under extreme secrecy and without confirming his plans until the last minute, asked for Greece’s support and the training of Ukrainian pilots in F-16 jets.

He also referred to the necessity of global food security, asking for help to ensure the necessary safe corridor, while stressing that Greek companies are ready to transport Ukrainian grain. 

This was Zelenskyy’s first official visit to Greece which has been pending since the spring of 2021 and was made at the invitation of Mitsotakis, who reiterated that Greece’s support for Ukraine is a matter of principle, while stressing that “there is no way Greece will ever recognize Russia’s illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine.”

The Greek PM also referenced Turkey in this regard, stating that Greece “has also experienced the revisionism of other countries in the past,” while he made a special reference to Mariupol and the crimes committed there, in “a city with a Greek name and Greek blood.”

Mitsotakis further noted Greek assistance in the reconstruction of Ukraine, “with its experience in the construction sector,” with emphasis on Odesa, “whose historical center, with the support of Greece, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”

At the end of the meeting, a joint declaration of the two countries was issued, which, among other things, states that “the Hellenic Republic and Ukraine welcome the significant achievements of Ukraine’s progress on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration, in particular with regard to the interoperability with NATO demonstrated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces on the battlefield.”

It also reaffirmed their commitment to intensify joint efforts in support of Ukraine’s integration into the Alliance and implementation of NATO standards.

It is also stated that the Hellenic Republic will continue to support the Alliance’s strong and effective political and material support to Ukraine in order to ensure Ukraine’s ability to effectively defend its territory, on land, at sea and by air, and will continue to provide military, technical, defense and humanitarian support to Ukraine.

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