ATHENS, January 28. /TASS/. The Greek government disagrees with the EU’s sanctions against Russia, which are affecting the economy of Greece and other countries, Greece’s First Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Nikos Chountis said in an interview with the Athens News Agency (ANA) on Wednesday.
Greece’s new government led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday it was discontent with the EU’s failure to make Athens-proposed amendments to the text of a declaration, in which the heads of EU states and governments warned Moscow of new sanctions over the escalation of the conflict in east Ukraine.
Greece intends to raise this issue at an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers on Thursday.
"Indeed, the agenda includes the issue of sanctions, on which foreign ministers may decide but the Prime Minister [Alexis Tsipras] and the Foreign Minister [Nikos Kotzias], i.e. our country filed a protest because a notice declaration of the heads of state was issued without preliminarily informing Greece or without taking into account the opinion of the Greek prime minister," Chountis said.
The declaration mentions possible new sanctions against Russia, the Greek first deputy foreign minister said.
"In actual fact, it will be decided at the council of ministers in the presence of Greece Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias on how they [sanctions] will operate," the diplomat added.
"The position of the new government as we formulated it back at the time when Syriza was an opposition party is that we don’t agree with the spirit of sanctions, which have negative consequences not only for our agriculture and our country’s economy but also affect on a wider scale," the Greek first deputy foreign minister said.
"Similar reactions emerge in other EU countries over the consequences of the sanctions," he added.
"As distinct from France, which supported the sanctions, there are also other countries like Greece, which object to the sanctions policy," the Greek diplomat said.