FM Dendias: “10 ethnic Greeks have died in Mariupol, attacks in Ukraine must stop immediately”

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias Ukraine

“The attacks in Ukraine must stop immediately,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias stressed on Monday, during a video-recorded message at the Conference on Disarmament High-level Segment held in Geneva.

“The military attacks against Ukraine gravely violate fundamental principles of International Law, starting with the UN Charter. International humanitarian law is seriously challenged,” Dendias said, while particularly emphasising the “brutal attacks against civilians in Sartana and Bugas villages, in the wider Mariupol area.”

So far, this had caused the death of 10 civilians, members of the Greek community, and many injured, including children.

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“It is also of vital importance that the safe and secure operations of the nuclear facilities in Ukraine are not affected or disrupted in any way,” he added.

Dendias stressed that disarmament conventions and treaties must be upheld and that cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns should also stop.

“We stand ready to do our utmost to contribute to all efforts for de-escalation within regional and international fora,” he noted, saying that Greece believes that a treaty-based and legally-binding arms control system can provide security reassurances to all States-parties.

He highlighted the role of the Conference on Disarmament for addressing challenges such as the cessation of the arms race, including in outer space, nuclear disarmament, new types of weapons of mass destruction, radiological weapons and other types of lethal devices.

“We took serious notice of the statement delivered by the permanent members of the Security Council, on January 3rd 2022; It affirmed that ‘‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’’.

“We consider this statement as a starting point to address the very complex disarmament agenda, especially in the light of the current announcements and developments in

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Ukraine. It could also serve as a significant preamble to the highly anticipated 10th Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference.

“Today, the preservation and universalization of the NPT and its three pillars are at the core of the global non-proliferation and disarmament architecture.

“From a national perspective and given that there are no quick fixes to disarmament, we believe that only through a step-by-step approach we can reach a complete and verifiable nuclear disarmament.

“An appropriate first step would be the conclusion of the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty and the universalization of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty,” he said.

Dendias also referred to cooperation against biological threats and enlargement of the disarmament conference to include more members.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday expressed his full solidarity with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and with the people of Ukraine in a post on Twitter:

“Full solidarity with President Zelenskyy and the people of Ukraine. We welcome Ukraine’s EU choice; they are one of us,” posted Mitsotakis.

Meanwhile, 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.

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