Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos (photo) expressed “deep concern” over the weekend at the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine, following the deaths of dozens of people in bombings in the region of Mariupol, and said Greece’s diplomatic missions were on hand to assist members of the Greek minority in Ukraine.

“Greece’s embassy in Kiev and consulates general in Mariupol and Odessa are monitoring the situation on the ground and are in ongoing contact with the region’s Federation of Greek Associations and the associations’ members in order to provide any assistance deemed necessary to the families of residents of Greek origin in the region,” Venizelos said in a statement.