January 27, 2015 / 3:38 PM / 5 years ago

New Greek government complains about EU Ukraine statement

Greece's newly-appointed Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras looks on during a meeting with Greek centrist party To Potami (River) leader Stavros Theodorakis (not pictured) at the radical leftist Syriza party headquarters in Athens January 26, 2015. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

ATHENS (Reuters) - The new Greek government of leftwing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras complained to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Tuesday, saying it had not been consulted about a statement on the growing crisis in Ukraine.

In a rare joint statement, EU leaders voiced concern about the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine and condemned the killing of civilians in the “indiscriminate shelling” of Mariupol.

They asked their foreign ministers to consider possible new sanctions against Russia in response although a final decision is expected to be left until a summit next month.

Fresh from his election victory, Tsipras was sworn in as prime minister on Monday and only unveiled his cabinet on Tuesday. But his office said the EU should still have secured consent from Athens before issuing a statement in the name of European member states.

“In this context, we underline that it does not have our country’s consent. Dissatisfaction with the handling of this was expressed in a telephone conversation between the prime minister and the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs Mogherini,” the statement said.

Greece has had traditionally good relations with Russia and never strongly supported sanctions against Moscow.

Writing by James Mackenzie

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