Dendias: Russia's invasion of Ukraine requires Europe-wide response

Nikos Dendias Russia

If the Russian invasion of Ukraine is an existential challenge for the world and for Europe's values, then the response should be equally serious, across all of Europe, Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said on Monday at the 2022 Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia.

Speaking at a panel on "How many challenges for Europe?," Dendias said that states are not able to deal with the challenge on their own, and are individually paying a heavy price to support common European values.

"If we want to keep our societies with us, during times of inflation and an increase of inequality, we must act, otherwise we will see a populist reaction and the entire political environment in Europe will change fundamentally," he noted.

Responding to his Hungarian counterpart's comment that one owes appreciation to Turkey for its initiative in the Black Sea for deliveries of wheat, Dendias said it might be true, but there is a great "but".

Turkey, he said, "is the NATO member that has not imposed any of the economic sanctions on Russia," while "Russia is using the Turkish economy as a way out of European sanctions."

"If there is a way out of the policy of sanctions, then they will not work out or they will take longer to work out," the foreign minister added.

Dendias also noted that European policy should become greener, and European Union should move faster, as "there is no choice: climate crisis is here, and we cannot survive if we do not face it."

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