President of Ukraine

President of Ukraine: I would like to thank Greece for its willingness to participate in the restoration of our cultural heritage, particularly in Odesa

6 March 2024 - 17:48

President of Ukraine: I would like to thank Greece for its willingness to participate in the restoration of our cultural heritage, particularly in Odesa

During a meeting in Odesa with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy discussed assistance in restoring civilian infrastructure, including churches, educational institutions, and cultural heritage sites destroyed by Russian attacks.

"The vast majority of Russia's targets are ordinary civilian facilities. Houses and churches, infrastructure and schools, universities – all of this needs to be restored. And today we talked about this with the Prime Minister. And we invite Greece and Greek companies to the relevant work," the Head of State said during a conversation with media representatives in Odesa following the negotiations with Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The President is convinced that such cooperation will provide both countries with new economic and social opportunities and create jobs.

"I would like to thank Greece today for its willingness to participate in the restoration of our cultural heritage, particularly in Odesa, which has such a strong connection with Greek history and culture. We cannot allow Putin's hatred to destroy all this – our Odesa, our country, our Europe," Volodymyr Zelenskyy emphasized.

The Head of State said that over the past night and within Odesa region alone, Ukraine's air defense forces shot down 20 "Shahed" drones, and in total, over 30 drones were shot down throughout the country overnight.

"Unfortunately, not all of them were shot down – there were some hits. This morning, another strike was launched against Odesa. And this is the real essence of Russia's actions: constant terror. And every downed "Shahed" drone, every downed Russian missile, every downed Russian military aircraft means saved lives, saved homes, saved infrastructure. That is why Ukraine needs help with air defense and other weapons," the President noted.

In addition, the Head of State said that Ukraine and Greece had started preparing a bilateral agreement on future security commitments in the framework of the G7 Joint Declaration.

"I hope that our teams will soon prepare an agreement for signing. We need to set out in it the level of cooperation and support we have achieved for this year and for the following years, as long-term cooperation yields the best results," he emphasized.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had confirmed his participation in the first Peace Summit on the implementation of the Peace Formula to be held in Switzerland.

The parties also discussed strengthening sanctions against Russia and its representatives, supporting the work of the International Criminal Court, and countering Russian disinformation.

For his part, the Greek Prime Minister expressed his condolences over the casualties caused by the Russian shelling of Odesa on March 2.

"This level of cruelty against civilians is deeply disturbing and outrageous. Today, as I was visiting Odesa, I was amazed because, on the one hand, it is a horrific picture of the destruction caused by Russia's attacks, and on the other hand, it is the resilience and courage of the Ukrainian people," he said.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted that Odesa is home to the Greek diaspora, whose representatives he had the opportunity to meet. The Greek Prime Minister added that the city is now an example of resistance to the Russian invasion and occupation.

"My presence here reflects the respect that the entire free world has for your heroic people, and at the same time emphasizes Greece's duty to stand by Ukraine, to support the commitment to defend your land, sovereignty and dignity of millions of citizens. Violence cannot violate international law, internationally recognized borders and territorial integrity," Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasized.

According to the Prime Minister, a conference on Ukraine's recovery was held in Athens together with the European Investment Bank, which was attended by dozens of companies, and Greek ports have become important hubs for the transportation of goods for Ukraine.

"And, of course, Odesa region is the region where we primarily want to focus Greek recovery programs. We support your country's European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations, believing that Ukraine's accession conditions will benefit all Ukrainians. This is proven by the experience of all EU members. Therefore, your movement towards the European structures should be accelerated," Kyriakos Mitsotakis summarized.