Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, Greece's alternate minister of foreign affairs, told The Hill in an interview last week at the Greek Embassy in Washington that sanctions imposed on Russia aim to depose Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The globally coordinated economic penalties against Russia, which continue to pile on, are primarily in response to the country's invasion of Ukraine last month.
''The sanctions ... are dedicated in order to bring down the Putin regime by internal unrest — and this is the idea that we create,'' Varvitsiotis said. ''A climate into Russia that this act of aggression is going to be costly for the economy of Russia, and to build up the unrest and the opposition to Putin.''
The Greek official also suggested that Turkey should be pressured more to join the West in punishing Putin, as the country has been hesitant to sign on to more extreme measures.
''If we don't drag [Turkey] into the sanction regime, then Russia will not feel as heavy [pressure from] the package of these sanctions that have already been imposed,'' Varvitsiotis stated.
''The fact that Turkey is not coming alongside is causing a big loophole in the whole sanction structure,'' he continued. ''Now, all the oligarchs may move their yachts to Turkey and still enjoy the Mediterranean Sea. ... They can travel because they're using the Istanbul airport.''
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu reportedly told a diplomatic forum last week that Ankara had no intention of joining the European Union's sanctions package against Russia, according to TASS.
''We believe that the sanctions will not resolve the problem,'' Çavuşoğlu said.
Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has at least two yachts docked at a sanction-free Turkish resort as of Tuesday, Reuters reported.
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