Greece on Tuesday condemned Russia’s decision to recognize Ukraine’s separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk as “independent states.” 

It “is a clear violation of fundamental principles of international law, Ukraine’s territorial integrity, and the Minsk agreements,” a Foreign Ministry statement said. 

The ministry reiterated that Greece is in favor of respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of all states and condemns any decision that is contrary to these fundamental principles of international law.

“As part of its commitments to the European Union and NATO, Greece will consult and coordinate with its European partners and allies regarding the response to this decision,” it added.

Putin announced Russia’s recognition of the regions in a speech on Monday in which he also attacked Ukraine’s government and the US and accused the West of ignoring Moscow’s core security concerns.

Along with Russia’s military buildup, tensions have recently risen dramatically in eastern Ukraine, with reports of a growing number of cease-fire violations, multiple shelling incidents, and the evacuation of civilians from the pro-Russian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The US and its European allies have said that Russia is setting the stage to invade Ukraine after having amassed over 100,000 troops and heavy equipment in and around its neighbor.

Russia has denied that it is preparing to invade and instead accuses Western countries of undermining its security through NATO’s expansion towards its borders.

In 2014, Moscow began supporting separatist forces in eastern Ukraine against the central government, a policy that it has maintained since then. The conflict has taken more than 13,000 lives, according to the UN.

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