Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and a Greek government delegation departed from Kiev on Thursday afternoon, following a two-day working visit to the Ukraine, returning to Athens. The prime minister’s last meeting before his departure was with members of the Greek community in the Ukraine, many of them living in areas affected by rising tension with the Russian element.
Sources said the prime minister’s visit to the Ukraine at this time had a twin purpose and that the meeting with the currently hard-pressed Greek community was one of these. The Greeks in the Ukraine had pinned their hopes on Greece, the sources said, both as their country of origin and as an EU member-state, requesting things such as ambulances. The Greek foreign ministry had already mobilised in order to send humanitarian and medical aid, they added.
The second reason for the trip was the crucial nature of the Ukrainian crisis itself, the sources said. The prospect of redefining relations between Russia, the EU and the West generally – and by extension, Greece’s relations with Russia – was “currently at stake in this corner of the world” if the crisis was resolved, they noted.