Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday welcomed the now expected accession of Sweden to NATO, speaking during an Alliance summit in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he emphasized that the Alliance’s joint statement, at the ongoing summit, reflects member-states’ joint position regarding the conflict.

He also reportedly referred to the specter of irregular migration, something he called both a political and geopolitical challenge, especially for southern European states.

Another challenge for stability, as he said, is tension in the western Balkans.

Meeting with Albania’s Rama

On the sidelines of the two-day summit in the Lithuanian capital, Mitsotakis met with his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama.

According to Greek sources, Mitsotakis called for the continued pre-trial detention of an ethnic Greek mayor in southern Albania to be “urgently resolved”, given that it relates directly to rule of law in the Adriatic country.

Ethnic Greek candidate Fredi Beleri won a mayoral race in coastal town of Himare on May 14, two days after he arrested on still unsubstantiated allegations of vote-buying. Beleri remains jailed in Tirana.
The specific area hosts a large ethnic Greek community.

Comments on ties with Turkey

The Greek premier also touched on a pending meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the sidelines of the same summit, citing a hope for a fresh start in bilateral relations.

Mitsotakis underlined that that Greece and Turkey are not condemned to live side-by-side amid a climate of tension.

“Two leaders with a fresh and strong popular mandate can agree to a road map that will lead to resolution of the one and only difference we have with Turkey, namely, the delimitation of the (Aegean) continental shelf and the EEZ,” he noted.