Kiev’s belligerent policies pose a “constant” security threat to Europe, Greece’s alternate foreign minister said, adding that the last thing Europe needs is another “hotspot of tension.”
“It is true that Ukraine is a constant problem for the European Security System,” George Katrougalos told the Greek Kokkino radio broadcaster when asked to comment on the recent maritime incident in the Black Sea when a group of Ukrainian ships illegally crossed into the Russian territorial waters. He added that “the last thing that we need is another hotspot of tension … at the heart [of Europe]” and vowed to raise this issue at a meeting of the EU foreign ministers.
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The minister also referred to Ukraine as a “troubled and complicated” area, adding that the crisis there could be resolved only through “respect for the international law” and “belief that [all the] differences can be resolved only through dialog.” He then called for the implementation of the Minsk Agreements by saying that the accords provide all the necessary “political steps to bring the situation back to normal.”
Speaking about his country’s relations with Russia, the Greek diplomat called a recent meeting between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and President Vladimir Putin an “absolute success,” adding that the two nations enhanced their cooperation and put their relations on a “better basis.”
It is important not to let any differences become a defining element of bilateral relations, Katrougalos said as he spoke about a brief spat in relations between Moscow and Athens this summer after Greece expelled two Russian diplomats. “Both sides agreed [to put] it behind us,” he said, adding that relations between Russia and Greece have traditionally been good and the current Greek government seeks to keep them this way.
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