Greek Delegation Visits Russia, Breaking the Isolation
A first delegation of Greek political and civil society activists completed a visit to Russia on Sept. 23-28 on the invitation of the St. Petersburg municipality. The delegation of three comprised Ambassador (Ad Honorem) Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos; Panagiotis P. Lafazanis, former minister and head of the Democratic Movement for National Liberation (DIKEA); and K. Karaiskou, head of the “Spartakos” faction and municipal councilor of Komotini. Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos, who is also a member of the Schiller Institute, posted the following report on his Facebook page:
“The three-member delegation returned last night from Agia Petroupolis [St. Petersburg], transferring to the Russians the feelings of the majority of the Greek people, who stand against sanctions and sending weapons from Greece to Ukraine. On the Russian side — [they included] a representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in the discussions — [who] felt, as he said, joy and relief from the arrival of the first mission from the western country [since] the start of hostilities, and from the messages carried by the Greek mission.
“Great publicity was given to the Greek mission by the Russian media, which carried the statements of the Greeks, given in interviews on state television and RT.
“Life in Agia Petroupolis goes on normally without any anti-government demonstrations being detected and people continue their daily routine as if nothing is happening. At the border with Finland, traffic is normal and the mission did not see Russians leaving, but on the contrary, too many returning. Finally, the solidarity of the Greek people was transferred to the Russian (people) while efforts will be made to continue cooperation between the regions of the two countries….”
Ambassador Chrysanthopoulos also posted photographs showing their visit at the School of International Relations of the University, to commemorate the role of the late Manolis Glezo (1922-2020), as the first Greek anti-fascist resistance fighter in World War II (he and Apostolos Santas famously removed the Nazi flag from the Acropolis during the Occupation). Issues related to the political situation between Russia and the West were developed, and there was also a meeting with a member of the Parliament of St. Petersburg.
Iskry.gr, the news portal of Lazanis, reported that they also commemorated the siege of Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in the anti-fascist struggle of World War II with an official tour of the cemetery where 500,000 of the 1.5 million of the city’s citizens who perished during the 900-day siege are interred. They honored the dead by laying a wreath at the large statue of the cemetery which symbolizes the city’s resistance.