“Of course, every country has its national policies. However, I hope that Greece also understands its commitments to organizations it is a member of, namely, the European Union and NATO. If it expects solidarity from the organizations during the time that is difficult for the country, it must secure solidarity on the outside, as well,” Linkevičius told BNS on Wednesday.
In the minister’s words, Russia seeks to divide EU countries by inclining them to act by their own interests rather than principles, which is unacceptable.
At a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at the Kremlin on Wednesday, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin indirectly mentioned that Moscow might lift its import ban on Greek food products.
In Linkevičius’ opinion, the Russian intentions to lift the embargo for individual countries “show that the restrictions are definitely not economic but purely political”.
“The EU should act accordingly, as it must represent interests of all EU countries on the outside. This particularly applies to trade. We cannot allow to be picked one by one according to self-invented rules rather than international agreements and international standards. This is the EU’s principled stance that is necessary in this respect,” the minister said in a telephone interview.
“Dangers do exist, let’s be honest, they always do. I hope that all these factors will be weighed and assessed exactly in a way that we are in the same organization and should pursue the policies we have agreed upon and Greece has consented to,” Linkevičius added.
The Greek government has repeatedly criticized the West over sanctions on Russia which were launched in response to the annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s support to separatists in Eastern Ukraine.