Zelenskyy: Ukraine’s Zelenskyy visits Athens to attend meeting of Balkan leaders with top EU officials

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday pledged to maintain up navy assist for Ukraine for so long as it takes and to assist with post-war reconstruction. Throughout his talks in Athens with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian chief instructed Greece may assist prepare his nation’s fighter pilots on new Western plane. Zelenskyy flew to Athens for his fourth go to to a European Union capital in three days, the place he later attended an off-the-cuff assembly of Balkan leaders with high European Union officers.
In statements following talks with Zelenskyy, Mitsotakis voiced full assist for Kyiv towards Russia’s invasion and condemned Russian “battle crimes.” He pledged to “keep on the facet of the federal government and the heroic individuals” of Ukraine, “nonetheless a lot time could also be required.”
Mitsotakis additionally stated NATO-member Greece would take part within the “titanic” activity of reconstruction in Ukraine when the preventing is over.
Zelenskyy thanked Mitsotakis for Greece’s assist, and instructed that Athens has agreed to coach Ukrainian pilots to fly the U.S.-made F-16 warplanes that Denmark and the Netherlands pledged to supply to Kyiv.
“In the present day we’ve got an necessary consequence for the aviation coalition – Greece will participate in coaching our pilots on F-16s,” he stated. “Thanks for this provide.”
Greek officers didn’t reply to requests for remark, and Mitsotakis made no reference to pilot coaching.
Zelenskyy and Mitsotakis additionally signed a joint declaration on Greece supporting Ukraine’s NATO accession, “when allies agree and circumstances are met.”
Within the night, Zelenskyy joined an off-the-cuff dinner organized by Mitsotakis for 9 Balkan leaders, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council head Charles Michel.
The dinner was to debate the Western Balkans’ future within the EU, which lots of the area’s international locations have already joined and the remainder are jockeying to enter.
Greece has joined its NATO and EU companions in strongly backing Ukraine towards the Russian invasion and has offered navy help within the type of armored personnel carriers and ammunition.
However Athens has resisted strain to supply Kyiv with a Russian-made air protection missile system stationed on the southern island of Crete. Greece is engaged in a considerable weapons procurement program of its personal amid testy relations with neighboring Turkey – its NATO ally and historic regional rival.
Earlier on Monday, Zelenskyy was in Denmark, the place he thanked lawmakers for serving to his nation resist Russia’s invasion. On Sunday, Denmark and the Netherlands introduced they would supply Kyiv with F-16 warplanes that may very well be delivered across the finish of the 12 months.
The presidents of Serbia, Montenegro and Moldova, the prime ministers of North Macedonia, Kosovo, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, and the top of the council of ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina attended Monday’s dinner. Mitsotakis was additionally assembly a number of of them individually on Monday and Tuesday.
A notable absence was Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama. Relations between Greece and its northwestern neighbor have soured over the jailing of ethnic Greek minority chief Fredi Beleri, who was arrested earlier than native elections in Might on vote-buying allegations.
Beleri was elected mayor of the southwestern Albanian city of Himara regardless of being in pre-trial detention. Athens insists his detention is politically motivated and has referred to as for his launch.
“I consider all of us perceive that it was not potential to ask Mr. Rama to such an necessary initiative,” Greek authorities spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis stated.
“After we say that Albania’s European path passes via the fundamental respect of European guidelines and the foundations of justice, we imply it,” he added, noting that Albania’s president had declined an invite to attend.

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