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NATO cancels Ramstein Guard exercise after Greece’s withdrawal

NATO has canceled its electronic warfare exercise Ramstein Guard due to disagreements between alliance members Greece and Turkey.

The exercise, which had been due to begin Monday, aimed to combine electronic technologies with Greek air and sea capabilities.

“But it was called off,” Ekathimerini reports “after Ankara requested on Sunday that the Greek island of Limnos in the northeastern Aegean not be included in the exercise, saying it should be demilitarized as stipulated in the 1923 Lausanne Treaty, which set the modern borders between the two countries.”

Greece rejects Turkey’s claim about the demilitarization of Limnos, citing another treaty, that of Montreux in 1936.

After Turkey’s veto, NATO scrapped Lemnos from the exercise, prompting Greece’s withdrawal.

“It is not possible to exempt Lemnos and accept the unreasonable and unfounded Turkish claims,” officials said, according to ANT1 TV, KTG reported on Monday.

RAMSTEIN GUARD 2 17 LIVEX (NATO) March 20-24, 2017, Greece

The NATO accepted the Turkish demand to exempt the island of Lemnos from an joint multinational exercise with the participation of member states of the North Atlantic alliance. This decision left Greece with no other choice than to withdraw from the NATO exercise on electronic warfare. Last year, the island of Lemnos was included in the Ramstein Guard Electronic Warfare Force Integration Programme exercise.

According to reports, the representative of Turkey in Ramstein, Germany, demanded that the island of Lemnos is excluded. It was obviously an effort to reiterate Ankara’s claim for the demilitarization of the Greek islands.

The NATO accepted the Turkish demand and moreover without previously briefing Athens. It informed Greece only late on Sunday night, just hours before the launch of the exercise.

Greece’s General Staff took all the necessary protest actions, but the NATO did not change its decision.

Therefore Greece withdrew from the exercise.

In the last few weeks, Turkey increased its territorial claims with a series of provocative actions and statements including threats to bring down even helicopters with Greek ministers on board, should they come close to the Greek islet of Imia, Ankara has put on its list of disputed Greek islands.

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5 comments

  1. So now Turkey once of a sudden accepts the treaty of Lausanne?
    Events around NATO are now developing rapidly. After Trump said that NATO was obsolete and that the US will reduce funding while demanding that European countries increase their spending, Merkel after her amazing visit to the clown in chief in DC, offered Putin an olive branch (of course, all her actions should be seen in the light of the upcoming elections in Germany) and now the new US foreign secretary will skip an upcoming NATO meeting in April and instead will visit Xi and Putin. I’m afraid Europe is going up the chopping board.

    • Since the Lausanne Treaty is the legal foundation of modern Turkey, any statements from Erdogan that he doesn’t accept Lausanne should either be taken with a large pinch of salt or as a declaration of open war on all of Europe. Basically, it is a negotiating position to try to gain Greek territory by illegal means. So Turkey will demand following international law (Lausanne) to the letter when it suits Turkey, and refuse to follow it when it suits Turkey. It’s the same style as Trump — nationalist, derisive of the rule of law, and thin-skinned narcissistic populist power-obsessed individuals.

      • It is political opportunism, just like this whole referendum. That NATO actually gives in to Turkey’s demand that the disputed islands (disputed by Turkey) should not be part of the exercise is rather worrying and a sign of bias by NATO. I mean, the islands are Greek territory according to international law. It is really up to Greece if these islands should be part of the exercise, not to Turkey. So something dodgy is going on in the partnership.

      • Giaourti Giaourtaki

        Why and since when Europe? 99% of Europeans have no idea about Lausanne, history must re-schedule 1st World War’s beginning with Balkan-Wars to learn about the Balkans.
        Now they’re all busy with their own sensational experience with Erdogum – except from Metz there Cavousoglou had no problems speaking his satire yesterday(?) and all the Reis chieftains of war, who all hope silently that some terrorist will get him to be the next Sultan Ataturk. Unfortunately Erdogan is still one of the best choice for Greece until Kurdistan gets EU-member – and also for Armenia or Assyrians who followed the call of Turkey to come back. He has promised an independent historians conference about the genocides – he is just a little bit crazy like you Greek, Xenos, when you have Tsipos and forgotten to eat to it – so why not give him something like “Imia is both Turkish and Greek” or gift both islets to a world without governments and prisons to come? Hosting the conference there, may be this will change his attitude and if there is really the rumoured Osmium, make a cool deal.
        I don’t believe in Osmium as in a capitalistic world only space-travelers need it, capitalism needs desperately stuff that fucks up after 2 years or can it can kill millions for like for Bloodphones and wind-turbines “needed” “rare” Earth.
        But what is the reason for not only Europe but worldwide, that all politicians and media blocked out Imia and the other shit or do you find anything about cancellation in their media? May be in a few days in papers of European friends of KKE… printed version only

    • An obsolete lie, he never said that, he said something like “we have to check if it’s meanwhile may be”obsolete but as Europeans also translated his “Great Again” totally wrong – that only more people now figure due to the Lowlands mistake talking about just the same “gift of god” – he’s good buddy to Erdogum with his wrong translated “Allah’s gift”. Interesting that so many people jump on any conspiracy bullshit ignoring this and than trap into moufa-maps:). Just inform yourself pl on “Turkish” or “Kurdish” or “Greek” “Dutch” real anarchist sites about this script or even better, get something printed, you know in Greece already in 2008 1/3 of the population was without internet, due to no money, no time or boycott or what do think how people organized all these the still escalating revolt? there will no war in Greece without a revolutionboth in Greece and in Turkey, noone can fool 90 billion people plus Diaspora that the last generations all cliques have a “Greek” respective “Turkish” friend, there als many “mixed” families and there go Turks and Greece shopping the real stuff if they’re not that many and their food is twice the normal price sold in hipster areas of Central Europe?
      Media hunt is the same bullshit with Machodonia and the pipeline, but it’s not important for Greece, as the pipeline comes in co-op by Italy, Greece, Egypt, Israel, Cyprus and may be Turkey – via reunification of Cyprus – and then naive Machodonia can ask for from a Balkan state it was closing the border against, because of believing in Austro-Hungarian lies about kicking out Greece from Europe, they didn’t do shit the first time, btw, don’t you remember? They’ve imposed “Capital Controls” on Greece already 3 weeks before the EU forced Greece into them – other Balkan states also, they all have economic power being 25% Greek investments aso