Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ statement, at the beginning of his meeting with the Ministerial delegation of Bulgaria

In the context of a working visit to our country, the Prime Minister met today in Maximos Mansion with a Ministerial Delegation from Bulgaria, led by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finances Assen Vassilev, who is accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister for Good Governance Kalina Konstantinova, Minister of Digital Governance Bozhidar Bozhanov and Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov.

At the beginning of their meeting and commenting on latest developments, the Prime Minister said:

Ιt is a great pleasure (for me) to welcome you to Greece. I am sure that you will have particularly useful and constructive talks with your Greek counterparts. I am satisfied with the fact that my visit to Sofia, right after the formation of the new government, marked a more dynamic phase in our already excellent bilateral relationship. Your visit today is held within this context. It is a visit that takes place at a very critical juncture and requires the coordination and cooperation of EU and NATO Member States.

The recognition by Russia, yesterday, of the unilateral declaration of “independence” by the self-proclaimed “Republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk blatantly violates the international law, the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the Minsk agreements. And, like every revisionist initiative, it undermines international stability and progress.

As a fundamental principle, Greece respects the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of all States. Therefore, it unequivocally condemns actions that run counter to these values. As a member state of the European Union and NATO, Greece is already in coordination with its partners, so that its response is common and substantial.

I have already contacted the President of the European Commission, Mrs Ursula von der Leyen, in this direction.

Our country has an additional reason to worry and to monitor developments; that is the protection and support of the Greek community living in Ukraine and the populous community in Mariupol, which has a presence of more than 2,000 years in the region. We are actively working on this.

The global community has an opportunity to resist the power of arms and also resist the questioning of borders and international treaties. The culture and achievements of the 21st century must not let the world return to the conditions of violence of the past and to the armed solutions of transnational disputes. It is on this front that the responsibility of governments and peoples is being measured now.

As for the possible effects of the escalating crisis, especially in the energy sector, I want to reassure all Greek citizens that we, as a government, have taken all necessary measures so that the country’s procurement of natural gas remains uninterrupted and continues in a seamless way.

At this point, I would like to assure you that Greece is willing to assist our friend Bulgaria in the field of energy efficiency.