In the crucial and decisive period that we are going through now, our allies in NATO and our partners in the European Union are evaluating the stance of every country toward Ukraine, including Greece’s.
Difficult and bold actions, which have a substantial impact on the ground, are the right thing to do. In addition, they strengthen the position of our country and can be “redeemed” in the future on issues that directly concern us.
With the Prespes agreement, Greece gained diplomatic points because it made a difficult decision. Although in the eyes of many foreign leaders and even diplomats this issue seemed inexplicable, they understood that it was extremely sensitive to Greek society. In this light, the decision by Athens to agree to a compromise was seen in Washington, Brussels and other major capitals as a bold step that contributed substantially, not just rhetorically, to the stability of the Western Balkans.
In the same light, the decisions of the current Greek government on Ukraine are right and must be recognized by our allies and partners. Although it sounds nice and peaceful to send humanitarian aid instead of military equipment, if we want to strengthen our position as a country and tomorrow request the practical support of our allies and partners on issues that are important to us, we must take the necessary substantive decisions, such as arms shipment.
When even Finland sends weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, how can Greece not do the same thing?
Similarly, Athens has maintained a positive attitude regarding the prospect of Ukraine’s accession to the European Union. Whether this will happen or not is another matter. At this stage, the Greek position cannot be other than supporting Kyiv’s relevant request.
Our country is one of the strongest supporters of international law and the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. It cannot accept the use of force or the threat of use of force, nor, of course, the invasion and military occupation of another country’s territory.
In this context, Greece takes a clear stand, condemning the Russian invasion of an independent state, despite its traditional relationship with Russia.
There is no room for an ambiguous position. The revisionism we are witnessing today in Ukraine concerns us directly. We must be absolute. For us, the expansionist ideas and aspirations of some countries against their neighbors are not some theoretical exercise. It is the reality. It concerns our security.
For solidarity to be meaningful, it must be tangible; not theoretical or rhetorical. When we say “we belong to the West,” we must mean it. Yes, the very West that, despite its many shortcomings, weaknesses, failures and regressions, remains a beacon of democracy and freedom for humanity.
The violent overthrow of the European architecture of cooperation and security cannot be accepted. In order to prevent this, the West – that is, us – must use all the tools at its disposal. Diplomatic, financial, military…