Greece says two expatriates killed in eastern Ukraine, urges all Greeks to leave ‘immediately’


ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece’s international ministry stated on Monday two Greek expatriates had been killed and one other two severely injured in an incident involving Ukrainian troopers in the nation’s east close to the entrance line of the battle with pro-Russian separatist forces.

Earlier, Greece issued an advisory urging its nationals to keep away from travelling to Ukraine and calling on any Greeks there to leave “instantly” in the face of fears that Russia, which has massed forces close to Ukraine’s borders, might quickly invade.

Moscow has denied any invasion plans and has accused the West of hysteria, however made clear that it sees Ukraine’s quest for nearer ties with the West, notably over NATO, as a menace and has demanded a collection of safety concessions.

The Greek international ministry stated in a press release that three Ukrainian troopers had been “accountable” for the deaths and accidents to the 4 Greeks in the village of Hranitne shut to the “line of contact” with pro-Russian separatist forces, who seized a swathe of eastern Ukraine in 2014.

It stated the violence erupted after the Greeks and Ukrainian troopers received into an argument “for an insignificant motive”.

It didn’t say what the Greeks had been doing in the world however a Greek international ministry official stated the incident had nothing to do with the continued battle in the area.

Ukrainian authorities didn’t instantly reply to a Reuters’ request for remark.

The ministry assertion stated Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has sought to converse together with his Ukrainian counterpart concerning the incident and stress that the Greek neighborhood in Ukraine needs to be protected. A couple of thousand Greek residents stay in the previous Soviet republic.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Angeliki Koutantou, enhancing by Mark Heinrich)

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