Greece joined the US and its NATO allies in strongly condemning the annexation of the eastern regions of Ukraine by Russia on Friday.
Greece “will never recognize the illegal annexation of Ukraine’s territories,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweeted on Friday.
The premier added that “Russia is undermining the rules-based international order and violating the fundamental rights of Ukraine to independence and sovereignty,” and that “Greece and the EU stand firmly with Ukraine.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared four regions of eastern Ukraine as Russian in a major policy speech at the Kremlin on Friday.
He claimed that the people of the four Ukrainian regions he’s planning to annex made their decision after the so-called referendums. “The results are known, well known,” he says. “People made their choice,” Putin maintained.
So-called referendums were held in Luhansk and Donetsk in the east as well as in Zaporizhzhia and Kherson in the south. The referendums were condemned as illegal by the West and legal experts.
Greece: Russia’s annexation of Ukraine territory is illegal
The Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry on Friday also condemned the move saying it does not recognize Russia’s decision.
“Greece does not recognize this decision, which is illegal [and is…] a flagrant violation of International Law and invalid,” noted the Greek ministry.
“Furthermore, Greece continues to support—as a basic principle—Ukraine’s and all states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry added.
“In addition, Greece will continue to work towards the dispensation of justice, and the protection of the rights of the Greek community in Ukraine, which has been particularly tested in recent months,” stressed the ministry.
Biden: America and its allies are not going to be intimidated
President Joe Biden has warned Russia that the United States will not be intimidated by reckless threats after Vladimir Putin annexed four occupied regions of Ukraine.
“America and its allies are not going to be intimidated,” President Biden said at the White House.
He then addressed the Russian President directly, pointing his finger at the camera. “America’s fully prepared, with our NATO allies, to defend every single inch of NATO territory,” he said in reference to the Western security bloc.
“Mr. Putin, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying: every inch,” Biden said.
President Biden addresses Putin following Russia's claim to have annexed parts of Ukraine:
"America is fully prepared with our NATO allies to defend every single inch of NATO territory, every single inch. Mr. Putin, don't misunderstand what I'm saying. Every inch." pic.twitter.com/fDABTCzp3t
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 30, 2022
Ukraine launched a new, fast-track bid to join NATO soon after Putin’s speech.
President Volodymyr Zelensky said Ukraine had long been a “de facto” member of the security bloc and accused Moscow of redrawing borders “using murder, blackmail, mistreatment and lies.”
NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was reluctant to be drawn in on the bid, saying the decision rested with the bloc’s thirty members.
The alliance’s members “do not and will not” recognize any of the annexed territories as part of Russia, Stoltenberg told reporters, accusing Putin of “irresponsible nuclear saber-rattling.”
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said “the illegal annexation proclaimed by Putin won’t change anything.”
“All territories illegally occupied by Russian invaders are Ukrainian land and will always be part of this sovereign nation,” the EU Commission President said.