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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Alternate Minister of National Defence on 247 Radio

In an interview he gave on Thursday, 12 July 2018, on 247 radio to the journalists Vassilis Skouris and Angeliki Spanou, the Alternate Minister of National Defence, Fotis Kouvelis, stated, among others, the following:

On the expulsion of the Russian diplomats:

I would prefer not to get into details on the whole matter. It is certain that both the expulsion of the two Russian diplomats and the ban of two other diplomats from Russia to enter the country is indeed an important matter which is not unrelated to our country's geopolitical and other interests. The Hellenic Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was obliged to proceed to the expulsion of the two Russian diplomats and ban the entry to two others who had served for a long time in the Russian mission here.

Beyond that, our foreign policy remains focused on maintaining good relations with Russia, as well as on having the European Union start a discussion with Russia in order to achieve a new political climate with regard to relations and cooperation.

The message sent by the Hellenic Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with this action is that our country will not tolerate actions that undermine its independence and violate International Law. It is an action by the Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed by the importance of the matter.

On the developments in the broader progressive space:

I keep telling that it is necessary for the progressive pole to be established, broadened, and move forward because in our country, I would say in Europe too, bipolarity, with the existence of a conservative pole on one side and a progressive pole on the other, is a fact. I am not talking about bipartisanship, I am talking about bipolarity.

Hence, we every day aim at, pursue, and strive to broaden this political pole so that the progressive choice for the country's progress, especially after the MoU regime, takes place within the bonds of society. Beyond that, the level of expression of this progressive pole, at the level of political leaderships, presents great difficulties, considering particularly the positions of KINAL. I think that the request to establish and broaden the progressive pole is an assumption by the society and that's what we stress.

What the leadership of KINAL currently declares has nothing to do with what they claim to be, at least with social democracy and the centre-left. The centre-left and social democracy are not just a geographical space. What is more, the left social democracy is a space of political content. It is a space which, as soon as it turned its back to its basic principles and political values, it sank, not just in Greece, but across Europe as well. I think that the social forces now know and should know that mentioning the centre-left is one thing, but actually serving the political content of a centre-left, let alone a social democrat course, is another.