Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hellenic Republic to Ukraine (2016–2019)
Abstract. In the interview, Georgios Poukamissas, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Hellenic Republic to Ukraine, provides answers to topical questions in relations between Ukraine and Greece.
Mention is made of the linkages of Greece with Ukrainian lands tracing back many centuries, from antiquity to nowadays. Tangible evidence of that are the cities constructed by Greeks in the territory of modern Ukraine. Thus, the Embassy of Greece in Ukraine keeps a vigilant eye on the life of the Greek expatriate community, the majority of which lives on the outskirts of Mariupol. It is specified that the Greeks of Mariupol are rather natives than part of the diaspora, since they are the direct descendants of Crimea (Tavryda) residents from the Middle Ages. Another important fact is that Greece has opened two Consulates-General in Ukraine.
It is stressed that Ukraine has to stay committed to its historical and cultural heritage, which will contribute to the development of the tourist sphere of Ukraine. Meanwhile, it is mentioned that the Embassy of Greece made major efforts to rejuvenate Byzantine studies in Ukraine. The interview states that economic cooperation between Ukraine and Greece is in need of more initiatives. The volume of bilateral trade of €500 million per year is a far cry from the desirable result; thus, the states have to do their best to improve it.
It is said that Mr Ambassador is proud of the achievements Ukraine has achieved in democracy. The developments of 2019 have confirmed that the democratic spirit of Europe is growing ever stronger. Mr Ambassador goes back to Athens but he will miss Kyiv, the true gem of history and architecture. He will also miss the beauty of many other Ukrainian cities and kindness of Ukrainian people, but his heart will bear sweet memories about Ukrainian valleys, boundless plains, and huge heaps of snow in winter.
Key words: Greece, tourism, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Greek diaspora, interstate relations.