Sakellaropoulou: In the face of generalized uncertainty, let Europe stay united


The speech of the President of the Republic at the dinner he hosted in honor of his Slovak counterpart Zuzana Tsaputova

In favor of the common treatment of the revisionary policy of both of Russiaas well as her Turkeywhose delinquent behavior constitutes a challenge not only for Greece, but also for the entire European Union, said the President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou during her address at the dinner hosted this evening at the Presidential Palace in honor of the President of Slovakia Zuzana Tsaputova.

Mrs. Sakellaropoulou emphasized that “International Law is a stable point of reference and a guide in international relations” and added that “in the face of the challenges we are called to face, and the general uncertainty that prevails, it is important that our European family remains united”.

As he said, “Especially in a time like the one we are going through, Greece and Slovakia, in a spirit of solidarity, join their efforts in managing the crises caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Crises concerning refugees, energy and food security, accuracy, and affect the daily life of European citizens”.

In the same context, he pointed out that Greece and Slovakia as allies in NATO share the same concerns regarding the challenges to the security environment built in recent decades in Europe and noted that “our countries are working closely together for a strong North Atlantic Alliance, capable of responding immediately and effectively to any threat directed against of its member states”.

He also underlined that “in European Unionour countries are in favor of promoting European integration and a stronger Union” and asserted that “We firmly believe that an autonomous European Union on the international stage will be able to more effectively promote its principles and values, multilateralism and free trade, as well as to tackle climate change”.

Referring to Greece-Slovakia relations, she emphasized that “at the political level, our relations are based on creative cooperation in areas of common interest, both bilaterally and multilaterally, and concern a wide range of activities, from economic and energy to cultural. Our common goal is to further strengthen them, for the benefit of the well-being of our people.”

He also pointed out that Greece and Slovakia share the same principles and values, such as democracy and respect for human rights, and our people are possessed by the love of freedom, while he recalled that our country had strongly supported its accession of Slovakia in the European Union, for this reason it was particularly happy that the Treaty of its accession, as a member state, was signed in 2003, during the Greek Presidency.

Next, he noted that one of the strongest ties connecting Greece and Slovakia is the cultural heritage of the monks and fellow apostles Cyril and Methodius, who transmitted the Greek spirit to Slovak culture through the Cyrillic script. “Honoring this tradition, your Constitution states in the preamble that your state is based on the legacy of Cyril and Methodius, while your flag depicts a double cross, the same as the one brought to you by the two co-apostles from Thessaloniki” added the President.

Finally, he emphasized that “my country, moreover, owes a big thank you to all Slovak Hellenists, who throughout history studied Greek culture in depth and spread it with passion in Slovakia. From Zamarovsky to Skoviera and the younger generations of Hellenists, with prominent academics Jan Zozulak and Jana Gruskova, all of them have forged and form a sincere friendship between our nations.”

In her objection, the President of the Republic of Slovakia Zuzana Tsaputova, after thanking Mrs. Sakellaropoulou for her warm hospitality, expressed her joy that the relations between the two countries have recently reached the high level they really deserve, as well as the belief that her visit will contribute further in this direction.

“All of us carry a part of your country within us, having Mount Olympus in our hearts since we were children. Slovakian students are taught the history of ancient Greece, which is the cornerstone of European culture, as well as the amazing Greek mythology,” he said.

However, he observed, that the closeness between the two countries is not only determined by their past, but above all by the present. Referring to today, she talked about the help of the Slovak firefighters in the previous year’s fires in our country, as well as their experts, who participated in the reforestation of the burned areas.

At the same time, he reminded that Greece and Slovakia are strong partners in the European Union and NATO, jointly respecting the values ​​of the Rule of Law and the rules of International Law. “These very values ​​are being undermined today by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This has a direct impact, not only for millions of people in our neighbor to the East, but also in our two countries,” he noted.

She also said she was proud that her fellow citizens opened their hearts and homes to tens of thousands of women and children who were forced to emigrate because of the war. “And, like the Greeks, they wish for peace for Ukraine, for Kherson or Mariupol, which also holds an important place in your history. However, we know that peace will only be sustainable if Ukraine is free to choose where it wants to belong as a country. No one can deny her this right,” he emphasized.

He also argued that we must face the consequences of this war together and added “In the European Union, we have agreed to become independent of Russian natural gas. I believe this will lead to greater use of clean energy sources. The issue is not only meeting our obligations, but much more our responsibility towards future generations. I know you have the same point of view, Madam President.”

In closing, she said that her visit to Athens assured her that the cooperation between Greece and Slovakia remains strong and that through it we will overcome all challenges.


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