Kiev (ANA/G Milionis) – Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis at the weekend visited ethnic Greeks from the Ukraine, welcoming the maintenance of Hellenism abroad. Skandalakis opened a festival of Greek culture in the village of Starii Krim, this year dedicated to the creation of Greek villages in Azofiki by migrants from the Crimea.
He pledged that his government and the public would do their best to help ethnic Greeks in the area.
Skandalakis also visited a Greek clinic in Starii Krim, established by the Federation of Greek Associations of Ukraine, the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, and the Illitsa metals group, and promised to seek help from Greece’s pharmaceuticals industry to supply the unit.
Later, he laid the foundation stone of a Greek Orthodox church in the village of Maloyianisol, saying the state would make a starting donation of 5,000 euros for the project, and deposited an additional 1,000-euro sum on his own account. Members of the delegation offered another 5,000 euros.
In a separate meeting with the Federation of Greek Associations of Ukraine, Skandalakis again underlined the government’s support.
He said that the government had increased home purchase and maintenance grants for ethnic Greeks in Ukraine returning to their country of origin, with extra perks for those opting to live in the regions; and authorities were in close contact with consulates to accelerate naturalisation.
“The problems faced by ethnic Greeks are entirely different from area to area and country to country,” Skandalakis noted.