Greece has announced its willingness to host Ukrainian refugees as the Russian invasion of the country continues.
“Greece is open to hosting Ukrainian refugees, we consider it our obligation to take part in this humanitarian chain,” underlined Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi while speaking to the public broadcaster ERT on Monday.
Mitarachi said that “it should become obligatory for all EU member-states to contribute to the redistribution of the flows from Ukraine.”
“Just as we asked for this when we faced the crisis with Turkey, it is a matter of principle to also say this now, when we must support the countries of Eastern Europe,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum is suspending the issuance and renewal of investment residence permits issued for citizens of the Russian Federation.
The suspension applies to both licenses under consideration and new requests.
At the same time, according to a relevant announcement of the ministry, applications for residence permits of the category “business executives” for citizens of the Russian Federation will not be considered until further notice.
Government spokesperson Yiannis Economou referred to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in the press briefing on Monday, noting that “the Russian invasion reorders reality, both in Europe and in the whole world, on multiple levels.”
“The world as we knew it has radically changed in the last two years and it seems that this is continuing to happen, in an avalanche of change.”
“Many things that we considered certain after the end of WWII and the end of the Cold War are being called into question so we have to adapt quickly to the new situation and respond to the new environment.”
He underlined that Greece is closely monitoring the developments in Ukraine and is actively participating in the decisions of its EU partners and allies for the imposition of sanctions on Russia and the support of the Ukrainian people.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis highlighted these positions both at the European Council and at the extraordinary NATO summit, Economou said.
He also pointed out that there is no doubt the we are at the beginning of a new era and added that there will be substantial turbulences in the energy market.
Economou referred in detail to Mitsotakis’ positions and stressed that Greece supports the respect of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of all countries as a matter of principle.
Mitsotakis also related that revisionism is the main threat for world peace and should not be tolerated, wherever it may come from.
He spoke of the vindication of the European leaders’ positions, including Mitsotakis, saying that the developments prove that defence is both an end in itself but also a national priority.
Concluding, Economou referred to the discussion and briefing on the developments in Ukraine in parliament on Tuesday.
“Active Russian revisionism, which President Putin tried to support theoretically on the basis of historic and political facts, is structurally outdated. It turns us violently back to a murky past.
If this trend is not stopped in the making, then we will reap many storms on every level,” he added.
Elsewhere, the Greek General Consulate in Mariupol has been temporarily transferred to another building within the city, with the safety of the staff and the journalists currently staying in the consulate as the top priority, a foreign ministry announcement said on Monday.
Specifically, the consulate was moved to facilities that previously housed the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has already departed.
The transfer was completed successfully on Monday, the same announcement said, adding that the Greek foreign ministry expresses its gratitude to the OSCE Secretariat and especially to the general secretary of the organisation Helga Schmid.
The Greek Consulate will continue its operation as normal, while the contact and emergency phone numbers remain the same.