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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos’ statement following his meeting with the acting President and the Foreign Minister of Ukraine (Kiev, 2 March 2014)

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos made the following statement following his meeting with the Speaker of Parliament and acting President of Ukraine, Oleksandr Turchynov, and Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia:

“The meeting I had with the acting President of Ukraine and the Foreign Minister, together, gave me the opportunity to better understand the situation and to convey the Greek message as well as the European message. As the current Presidency of the European Union, and as a state, Greece supports the territorial integrity, the independence, the sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine, because we exercise a foreign policy of principles, based on respect for international law.

We want there to be stability and security for all citizens. We want the transitional government to be inclusive of all the political forces and all the regions of the country. I made special mention of the Greek community of Mariupol and of the wider region in general, and I am pleased that the transitional Ukrainian government is prepared to deal with these issues.

But the acute problem right now is the economic crisis. We are prepared to convey our proposals and views on how the international community can help Ukraine, with the participation of the International Monetary Fund, but not just the International Monetary Fund. My proposal is that it is imperative that an international conference be held on this issue in order to shape the platform immediately. Of course, through its experience of the crisis it has gone through and is still experiencing, Greece is also prepared to provide its know-how to Ukraine.

Of course, all of this has to be taken against the backdrop of the tensions in Crimea. Ukrainian-Russian relations are decisive, not just for the region, but, I would say, for pan-European and global stability as well. Everything has to be approached with restraint, with composure, with dialogue, within the framework of international law and the existing contractual texts that link Ukraine with Russia and with the international community. And we are pleased that the interim Ukrainian government decided to continue the process for linking Ukraine with the European Union, with the signing of the Stabilization and Association Agreement.

From this perspective, I think that my visit was a great opportunity to promote bilateral relations and to make clear Greece’s role as the current Presidency in this very critical turn of affairs. Because we can provide our good offices, which can be accepted by all the involved parties, because we have cultivated relations of trust based on sincerity and the strategic consideration of the state of affairs.”

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