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Greek General calls for activation of NATO Article 4 as relations with Austria reach Cold-War level

Diplomatic relations between Greece and Austria have apparently reached a Cold-War level after Vienna’s “unilateral move” -so Athens – to close borders for refugees via FYROM. While the Greek Foreign Ministry turned down the request by Austrian Interior Minister to visit Athens, the former chief of Greek Land forces asks for activation of Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The Activation of Article 4 of the NATO can force Austria and FYROM to consultation on refugees, migration and closed borders. This proposal comes from General Christos Manolas, until February 2015 Chief of Staff for Greek Land Forces.

In a statement submitted to Greek website for military affairs OnAlert, , Manolas argues that the activation of Article 4 would get Austria and FYROM on the table for consultations and would give Greece a tool to exert pressure to these two countries with regards to closure of the borders to refugees and migrants.

Austria and FYROM are not NATO members but members of “Partnership For Peace”. The PFP is a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) program aimed at creating trust between NATO and other states in Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Article 4 – Highlights

  • Consultation is a key part of NATO’s decision-making process since all decisions are made by consensus, after discussion and consultation among members.
  • In Article 4 of NATO’s founding treaty, members are encouraged to bring subjects to the table for discussion within the North Atlantic Council, the principal forum for political consultation.
  • Since the Alliance’s creation in 1949, Article 4 has been invoked several times, for instance by Turkey.
  • Consultation regularly takes place within the existing network of committees and working groups, which derive their authority from the Council.
  • Consultation gives NATO an active role in preventive diplomacy by providing the means to help avoid military conflict. (NATO)

“The NATO intervention would put diplomatic pressure on Austria and FYROM,” Manolas states citing reasons of national security and administrative matters. “The developed dynamics create lack of security and conditions of possible destabilization,” he notes thus urging the Greek government to ask for acceleration of the EU-Turkey Summit for Migration on March 7th.

Manols recons that Turkey has repeatedly invoked Article 4 of the Alliance to exert political pressure to several countries, most recently in the case of Russia when Turkey requested the activation of Article 4 and it managed to keep away from its territory the Patriot anti-missiles systems that were in withdrawal process.

Meanwhile, diplomatic relations between Greece and Austria have reached a Cold-War level. Greek Foreign Ministry turned down the request of Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner to visit Athens and talk about Migration. Her request is turned down until “Austria revokes the decisions of West Balkan Conference” diplomatic sources told Greek media.

PS theoretically, Greece could invoke Article 4 – but will it do it?

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One comment

  1. The EU community should invoce sanctions AGAINST Greece for not living up to the Schengen Agreement of “Protecting EU’s outer borders. If anything NATO should be deployed to ensure that NO migrants enter EU countries by way of the Mediterranean Sea. Greece should do as Australia and force the invasion of middle east men away from their coastlines