Greece's then would-be defense minister Pannos Kammenos (right) during his visit to Moscow in January 2015, posing with Russian parliament members Pushkov and Klintsevich
Today Greece’s defense minister Pannos Kammenos, head of the right-wing “Independent Greeks” party, while on his visit to a Moscow security conference, claimed in an interview to Russian news outlet gazeta.ru, inter alia:
“…the Greek population of Crimea faced abuse from Ukraine’s fascist government and the presence of Russian forces there became a protection for Greek families”.
This statement rises a few questions:
Can minister Kammenos cite specific facts of “abuse from Ukraine’s fascist government” towards Crimean Greeks?
According to Ukraine’s 2001 census, 2795 Greeks lived in Crimea, while 77 516 lived in the Donetsk region (More specifically – along the Azov sea coast, where, by the way, Catherine deported their ancestors). Does minister Kammenos believe that the Azov Greeks are being abused by “Ukraine’s fascist government?”
Does minister Kammenos know of facts of abuse of Azov Greeks during more than a year of “Ukraine’s fascist government” rule?
Finally, does minister Kammenos believe that Russian troops should occupy the Azov coast, particularly the city of Mariupol, to protect the local Greeks from “Ukraine’s fascist government”? Is minister Kammenos ready to call on Putin to send troops to Azov coast? If no, why?