Athens may veto further EU sanctions against Russia

The new Greek government is considering whether to veto further sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine, sources told Kathimerini Tuesday, after Athens voiced objections to a joint statement from European Union leaders calling for such action.

Athens said that it did not consent to the statement put out Tuesday by the European Council, which urged EU foreign ministers to increase sanctions on Russia when they meet in Brussels on Thursday. Greece will be represented by its newly appointed Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias [photo], a politics professor who favors closer relations with Moscow. An imposition of further sanctions would require the agreement of all 28 EU member states so Greece could veto increased penalties.

Athens had raised some objections to the statement put out by the European Council and asked for its issuing to be delayed until Wednesday to allow for further discussion. The decision to ignore the Greek request prompted Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to ring Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, to complain.