Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, visiting Odessa on Tuesday, July 12, announced his support for the Greeks living there now, who left Mariupol.
The head of the Foreign Ministry assured that Greece continues to take care of their well-being, and is also trying to protect Odessa and its cultural heritage. On behalf of the Greek government, the minister stated:
“The government of Mitsotakis, Greece is making every effort to protect both Odessa itself and elements of our own cultural presence here from the effects of the war.”
He pledged support and assistance to Greek expatriates both now and in the future. Mr. Dendias noted:
“I am very pleased to return to Odessa today. First of all, to meet with the mayor of the city G. Trukhanov and have the opportunity to discuss how to coordinate joint efforts to turn the historical center of Odessa into a cultural monument protected by UNESCO, into a World Heritage Site. In this way, we can to create a cultural shield that will protect this historical center from the consequences of the war.The center is associated with Greece primarily because it was here that the Greek Revolution began.Here is the building in which the Greek Revolution began, it belongs to the Greek state.But also in the building of the Opera House where we are now, we are connected with Odessa. This building was built under the mayor of Gregory Marasli, a Greek who brought many benefits to Greece. The town hall in my homeland, Corfu, is called Marasleio. “
The minister also announced joint plans, citing cnn.gr:
“We have decided, with the help of the Ministry of Culture, who will provide us with two experts, and with the experience we already have after the successful efforts to include Corfu, to help Odessa reach a level that will allow it to be included in the list of World Heritage sites very soon.”
One of the main issues that the mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov discussed with the head of the Greek Foreign Ministry was the inclusion of the historical center of Odessa in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Odessa mayor said:
“Our candidacy for admission to the main list is supported by a huge number of countries and cities, including Greece. I know that you, Mr. Minister, have tremendous experience in cooperation with UNESCO, so I thank you for your support.”
Then the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece met with members of the Greek diaspora and with the Greeks who were forced to leave their homes in Mariupol and are in Odessa. He listened to their concerns and assured them that Greece would continue to look after their welfare.
Dendias will be informed in as much detail as possible by the head of the Odessa regional military command of the Odessa region about the situation today. The plans of the visit also include participation in the signing of an agreement with the Odessa State Archives, where the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs will co-finance efforts to digitize the part of the archive related to the Greek presence here.
Greece plans to go to court in The Hague over Russian war crimes in Ukraine after the Greek Foreign Minister was briefed on the terrible consequences of rocket attacks on the territory of Odessa and the Odessa region, reports UNIAN. It is noted that during the visit, the head of the Greek Foreign Ministry met with the head of the Odessa OVA Maxim Marchenko. The message says:
“Marchenko briefed the Greek Foreign Minister on the terrible consequences of the missile strikes inflicted by the Russian army directly on the territory of Odessa and the Odessa region. Nikos Dendias, while in Odessa, said that Athens intends to apply to the International Court of Justice in The Hague with a request to investigate war crimes, committed by the Russian army not only in Mariupol, but also in Odessa and the Odessa region.Greece will ask the International Court to investigate the war crimes that occurred in Mariupol, because our country has a special interest in this city because of the Greek community.In addition I will ask my colleagues in the Alliance to do everything they can to not only help Ukraine, but also protect Odessa so that your beautiful city does not suffer the same fate as Mariupol.”