Intense mobility reigns in the last hours at the Ukrainian consulate in Thessaloniki. Its employees are trying to contact the Greeks in the war zone in Ukraine.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias, the plan for the evacuation of the Greeks is being implemented, the crisis management units have been activated:
An evacuation plan for Greek citizens, as well as holders of a special identity card for expatriates, has been prepared. Many of our compatriots have already contacted our authorities, and we have taken the necessary actions. We are, however, forced to adapt our plan to conditions on the ground.
Addressing the Greeks who are still in Ukraine, the Foreign Minister urged them to be in constant contact with the Greek diplomatic authorities and avoid unnecessary travel. He recalled that ten days ago “we discouraged the Greeks from traveling to Ukraine and asked the Greek citizens who are in Ukraine to leave the country,” and assured that the Foreign Ministry would do everything possible to support the Greeks and expatriates staying there.
Speaking about the meeting of the Crisis Management Group, the Foreign Minister noted that in connection with the dramatic events in Ukraine, he immediately convened it after cooperating with Prime Minister Mr. Mitsotakis:
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss measures that need to be taken to protect our compatriots, that is, Greek citizens who are in Ukraine, as well as a large number of Greeks that we have there.
During the meeting, a teleconference was held with the Greek Ambassador in Kiev and with the consuls in Mariupol and Odessa. Nikos Dendias praised their professionalism and warmly thanked them for their professional service in the midst of a crisis. He recalled that Greece is one of the countries that has its diplomatic missions in Ukraine, and added that “the goal is to coordinate efforts to provide assistance on the ground.”
There was a strong police presence, both in the Ukrainian and Russian consulates of the city, where earlier in the day Ukrainians protested against the invasion of their country. Protesters gathered outside the Russian consulate with posters against the ongoing war in Ukraine.