Greek foreign minister heads aid mission to Odessa, reopens consulate
ATHENS: Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias arrived in Odessa on Sunday leading a humanitarian aid mission to the port city in southern Ukraine, the Foreign Ministry said.
The humanitarian aid was handed over to the city’s municipal authorities.
Dendias, 62, also aims to set up a continuous mechanism for distributing aid from Greece and reopening the country’s consulate in the city.
“The reopening of the consulate (of Greece) will help distribute humanitarian aid and establish corridors for the Greek ethnic community to leave from any region of Ukraine, if necessary, via Odessa,” he said. said the minister after arriving in Odessa, according to a statement from the Greek Foreign Ministry.
Missiles hit Odessa in the early hours of Sunday, the city council said in an online post.
Dendias said last month he planned to lead a humanitarian aid mission to the beleaguered city of Mariupol in Ukraine, home to thousands of ethnic Greeks, but heavy fighting meant the destination was later changed to Odessa.
At least 10 ethnic Greeks have been killed and several injured since Russia began attacking Mariupol. More than 150 Greek citizens, ship’s crew and ethnic Greeks have been evacuated from the area, according to the Greek government.
Ukrainian troops have retaken more than 30 towns and villages around kyiv, Ukrainian officials said on Saturday, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched its invasion.
Russia has described its withdrawal of forces near kyiv as a gesture of goodwill in the peace talks. Ukraine and its allies say Russia was forced to focus on eastern Ukraine after suffering heavy losses.
(Reporting by George GeorgiopoulosEditing by Raissa Kasolowsky)