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Press Office

Athens, 25 February 2022

Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defence Policy

The Chairman of the National Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee of the Hellenic Parliament Konstantinos Gioulekas called on the EU and the international community to assume their role in light of the dramatic developments in Ukraine during the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy which took place in Paris. Mr Gioulekas stressed that the developments are testing the limits of International Law, the validity of the Treaties and the very right of state to live in freedom threatening political stability in Europe and underlined that the Republic of Cyprus for about half a century now has been tested by the illegal invasion and occupation by Turkey of half of its territory. The Head of the Greek delegation pointed out the need to coordinate with our partners against Russian aggression as EU and NATO members, adding that these developments highlight even more the need for substantive European strategic autonomy.

In his speech Mr Athanasios Lioutas condemned the Russian invasion into Ukraine and stressed that Russia has violated all notions of International Law and has historically injured Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, adding that the response to what is happening must be based on the strategy of harsh sanctions against Russia. He then referred to the Greeks of Mariupol, noting that the Greek government has organised support and evacuation plans for Greek citizens and expatriates. Responding to a Turkish MP, who stated that Greece and Cyprus accuse Turkey with no justification, he stressed that Turkey, by occupying Cyprus, demonstrated a similar attitude to that demonstrated by Russia against Ukraine, underlining that Turkey is and has been in flagrant violation of International Law.

Mr Andreas Loverdos said that all initiatives by the EU institutions and European leaders for a peaceful resolution of the problem caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine failed in spite of the fact that there were clear indications of Russia’s intentions since the 2014 Crimea annexation. Mr Loverdos noted that on the one hand Russia is facing the EU, many countries of which are dependent on Russia for energy supply and, on the other hand, is facing NATO, which is not showing determination in responding to Russia’s unilateral actions. Indicative of the EU’s forthcoming actions is the announcement made after the Summit on 24 February, which, as he pointed out, did not mention a Russian invasion and added that the French Presidency will be judged by how it will handle this absolutely inauspicious development.

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