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10 August, 2022
 
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Greek foreign minister visits Ukraine port city

Athens’ top diplomat follows through on promise to deliver aid in Ukraine, reopens consulate

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias arrived in Ukraine on Sunday, keeping a recent promise to head a humanitarian aid mission into the war-torn country where many ethnic Greeks have been trapped.

Dendias arrived in the southern port city of Odessa where he plans to set up shop to oversee the delivery of humanitarian aid, with reports saying he already handed aid to the city’s municipal authorities.

“I met today with Odessa Mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov. Discussion focused on the strong presence of Greek Diaspora in Odessa, in light of the long-standing ties of Greece with the city, and the challenges it faces,” Dendias wrote on Twitter.

'The consulate reopens today to help distribute humanitarian aid and establish corridors for the Greek community to evacuate, and if needed, underscore our historic presence in our town'

The minister also laid flowers on a monument at Odessa’s museum of Filiki Etairia (Society of Friends) – a secret organization established in 1814 to fight for Greek independence.

The mission takes place two weeks after Dendias had a meeting in Athens with the Greek consul of Mariupol, another Ukrainian city, where many ethnic Greeks managed to flee or remained trapped since Russian troops invaded Ukraine in late February.

After the Athens meeting, the foreign minister took to Twitter to put both Ukrainian and Russian sides on notice and inform them of his intention to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol in person.

Dendias also said the Greek consulate in Odessa was to reopen on Sunday.

“There is Greek presence in Odessa. The general consulate reopens today and it will help distribute humanitarian aid and establish corridors for the Greek ethnic community to evacuate, and if needed, underscore our historic presence in our town,” Dendias wrote.

At least ten ethnic Greeks have been killed and several have been wounded in Mariupol, both before and after Russia launched an attack on the port city.

Two Greeks north of Mariupol were reportedly shot dead by Ukrainian soldiers prior to Russia's invasion in late February, prompting Greek MEP Emmanouil Fragkos to call on the Commission to push for an investigation.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Ukraine  |  Greece  |  Russia  |  Greek Diaspora  |  Nikos Dendias  |  Odessa  |  Mariupol  |  war  |  invasion  |  Filiki Etairia  |  humanitarian aid

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