Greek Premier slams Turkey of playing both sides in Ukraine war
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis blamed Turkey of trying to play both sides in Russia’s war in Ukraine.
“Turkey considers it does not need to choose a side… it seems OK to Turkey to provide arms to Ukraine while catering to Russian economic interests and disregarding EU sanctions [and] facilitating Russia to bypass sanctions,” Mitsotakis said during a visit to Lithuania on Monday, Kathimerini newspaper reported.
Maintaining good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, Turkey sought to perform a balanced act between two warring countries since the beginning of war in late February.
While condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and supplying Kiev with Turkish weapons and combat drones, Ankara refused to impose sanctions on Russia or Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin.
According to a recent analysis by the New York Times, at least 32 yachts tied to Russian oligarchs and sanctioned entities by the Western countries have sheltered in Turkish waters, a matter of concern “as a symptom of a much larger evasion of U.S. sanctions against Russia.”
Mitsotakis said both Greece and Lithuania embrace European values and support countries’ self-determination and territorial integrity.
This support extends to all 27 EU members and “all but one” of NATO’s 30 members, Mitsotakis said, “an obvious jab at Turkey,” according to Kathimerini.
The tensions between Turkey and Greece that have long been at odds over a string of issues, have build up lately over territorial claims and the status of the Aegean islands. Turkey blames Greece for militarising its eastern Aegean islands in violation of international treaties.