Karamanlis makes rare public appearance to call for end of Russian invasion

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Former Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called on the European Union to put a swift end to the conflict, reported Kathimerini newspaper.

According to the media outlet, Karamanlis made  the comments during a rare public appearance at an event on  Wednesday organized by women’s NGO Panathinaiki on the theme “Greece and Europe in the vortex of great changes,” where he also condemned Turkish aggression and revisionism.

Karamanlis accused Turkey of having chosen to play the regional troublemaker and chided those who continue to treat Greece and Turkey the same;  the inferences pointing to the EU and the United States.

The former PM admitted that there were outstanding differences between Greece and Turkey but are only concerning the delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zones and the continental shelf which should be taken to the International Court in Hague.

‘Karamanlis said Turkey is a revisionist country, trying to overlook international treaties in order to become the hegemonic power in the region. He cited as proof Turkey’s military involvement in Iraq, Syria, the Caucasus and Libya, its meddling into the internal affairs of Balkan countries with Muslim populations and its questioning o longstanding treaties defining borders as well as the Law of the Sea.

‘On Ukraine, Karamanlis said Russia’s invasion is an “illegal, unacceptable and condemnable” action that tramples on international law and noted parallels with Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus, which was never condemned in a similarly strong fashion. But he cautioned that a long war risked pitting the west against an anti-western coalition, that, besides Russia and China, could include countries such as India and other “middle (powers) or rising actors… Such a convergence…would be an enormous challenge for the West and would portend tectonic changing in the currently acceptable rules of the game and unfathomable consequences,” he warned.’

Per Kathimerini, Karamanlis focused quite a bit on the many economic consequences of the Ukraine war, noting, for example, that Egypt is dependent on Ukraine for a lot of its staple foods. He also argued for a longer-term process of weaning off from Russian oil and natural gas.

‘Karamanlis said the EU should take the initiative to conclude the war in Ukraine the soonest possible, noting that he doubted the US has equally strong incentives to do so.

‘Karamanlis called for a faster political and defensive European unification to deal with geopolitical challenges and overcome the “weaknesses bequeathed by the untimely and hasty” 2004 expansion, when 8 Eastern European countries, along with Malta and Cyprus, joined the EU.’