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Greece paid high price for Europe’s economic sanctions against Russia — foreign ministry

The Greek diplomat also stressed that his country "supports the Minsk process of Ukrainian reconciliation"

ATHENS, April 10. /TASS/. Europe’s economic sanctions against Russia cost dearly to Greece, whose exports fell sharply when those measures were introduced, the Greek first deputy foreign minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, was quoted as saying by the ministry’s press service.

During a meeting with Ukraine’s ambassador to Greece, Sergei Shutenko, "Varvitsiotis pointed out that our country had to pay huge economic price in terms of exports to Russia, as a result of European sanctions against Russia," the press service said.

The Greek diplomat also stressed that his country "supports the Minsk process of Ukrainian reconciliation," adding that all international issues should be solved through dialogue and in accordance with the international law.

President of the Hellenic-Russian Chamber of Commerce Pantelis Skarlatos told TASS in late March that the European Union’s anti-Russian sanctions and Moscow’s retaliatory embargo seriously harmed the economies of the EU and Russia and must be cancelled as soon as possible. According to Skarlatos, the EU-Russia trade turnover, which stood at $417.66 billion in 2013, shrank to $277.79 billion in 2019.

In his words, Greek farmers sustained serious losses after Russia closed its market for EU agricultural products. "Let me remind you that the last full year of exports to Russia was 2013. At that time, exports of Greek fruits and vegetables to the country exceeded 160 mln euro. For example, deliveries of sweet cherry to Russia made up 52% of Greece’s total exports of this fruit. Russia accounted for 64% of all strawberry exports, 40% of all Greek peach exports, and so on. In certain areas of the country, the damage done to farmers as a result of the embargo is irreparable, despite support measures taken by the EU," Skarlatos said.