Nikos Dendias meets with Ukraine's Greek community amid Russian threat

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Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias visited the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in the city of Mariupol (Marioupolis) on Monday.

Dendias tweeted that he was "briefed on the security situation on the ground and the Mission's work."

Earlier in the day, the Greek minister visited Mariupol's City Council, where he "had a fruitful meeting with the city's First Deputy Mayor, M. Kogut and the Chairman of Mariupol district council S. Mahsma," he said in another tweet.

In another tweet on his meetings with Greek communities, he said, "In Ukraine together with the Greek expatriates! I visited the 8th Modern Greek Language Learning School and met with the teachers, the head of the civil-military Administration of Sartana and members of the Greek community of Sartana and Chermalyk." In Sartana, specifically, he also layed a wreath at the monument of fallen Greek expatriates.

Dendias also spoke on the telephone with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
"I informed my Ukrainian counterpart about my visit to Mariupol in order to stand by the Greek community and the intention of Greece to strengthen its Consulate General in the city," Dendias said on social media.

According to the same post, Kuleba thanked Greece for its decision to not withdraw its staff from its embassy in Kiev, while Dendias reiterated that Greece supports the independence and territorial integrity of all states.

After the completion of his visits to the cities of Mariupol and Sartana, Dendias told reporters that Greece will stand by and support Greek communities in Ukraine.

"I am today here in Mariupol, only a few kilometers away from the main point of tension between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, to support by my presence the Greek community here, one of more than 100,000 people, at the behest of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis," Dendias underlined.

US ambassador's comment

US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt welcomed the visit of Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias to Ukraine on Monday.

Specifically, the American diplomat commented on Dendias' visit to the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe's Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in the city of Mariupol, calling it "an important and very welcome signal of support for the important work of OSCE's SMM in Ukraine."