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Greek FM Dendias contacts Ukrainian counterpart, OSCE for Consul protection in Mariupol

Diplomatic sources in Athens said on Sunday that there are no reports of an attack on the OSCE building, which houses the Consulate General in Mariupol. Earlier reports also by international media claimed that the OSCE building had come under fire. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is contacting international organizations for the creation of humanitarian corridors.

According to Greek media, the Consul General had contacted Greek authorities via satelite telephone and was in a bunker.

The Consul General, Manolis Androulakis, is in good health, the same sources said, state-run news agency amna reported early afternoon Sunday.

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had contacted his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba asking for protection of the Greek General Consul in Mariupol and the creation of a humanitarian corridor to allow evacuations of civilians.

Dendias had also a phone conversation with the OSCE Segretary General Helga Schmid regarding the relocation of the Consulate General and on coordination for the opening of humanitarian corridors from Mariupol.

A convoy with of 82 Greek nationals, journalists and diplomatic staff managed to reach neighboring Moldavia on Friday after a 3-daydrive through the war zone south of Ukraine.

An attempt of another convoy to leave Mariupol on Sunday has failed.

Mariupol Municipality and the International Red Cross announced that also a second attempt to evacuate some 200,000 civilians from Mariupol on Sunday were interrupted.

The city in eastern Ukraine “is surrounded by Russian forces and their allies,” the ICRC said, while the Municipality said “the evacuation was impossible due to Russian bombing.”

The ICRC spoke of “devastating scenes of human suffering in Mariupol.”

Read also: AP’s MAriupol diary – Scenes of despair

The second attempt to evacuate the civilian residents of Mariupol, which is surrounded by Russian forces and their allies, was “stopped”, announced today at noon the ICRC, which had opened the passage. “In the midst of devastating scenes of human suffering in Mariupol, a second attempt today to begin evacuating some 200,000 people from the city has stalled,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement.

FM Dendias will travel to the United Kingdom and Austria on March 7 and 8 for talks with high-ranking officials.
Talks will focus on the developments in Ukraine following the Russian attack, on coordination of actions within the framework of international organizations, as well as on regional issues such as developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

*thumbnail picture:

civilians seeking protection under a damaged bridge in Irpin near Kiev. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the photographer’s name for credit.

PS Generally speaking, Greece could take at least an initiative for the evacuation of thousands of civilians, but it’s a long weekend due to Clean Monday, the PM is visiting an island of the Cyclades, the number of Ukrainian refugees is not hitting alarming levels and in the small partly cloudy country in the European South it’s just another Sunday…

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