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Turkey’s vessels south of Crete? “We’ll consider all scenarios,” warns Greek MoD

“If Turkey violates our sovereignty, we will consider all scenarios”, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said on Friday. “We are not warmongers but we will react if deemed necessary,” he added. The threats come just hours after President Recep Erdogan said that Turkey will grant licenses for hydrocarbon exploration and drilling in the maritime area delimitated with the Agreement with Libya that eliminates the Exclusive Economic zone in the East of several Greek islands, including Crete.

Asked what would be Greece’s reaction, if a Turkish [research] vessel appeared south of Crete, the minister replied: “This move violates our vital sovereign interests and we are working on all scenarios. (…) We are not warmongers and do not want to get into a military showdown, but if necessary we will consider that too. Our basic sovereign rights are being violated, we are not going to allow that. ”

He reaffirmed the “readiness, combat and deterrence” of the Greek military forces.

Speaking to Skai TV, Panagiotopoulos pointed out at the increased Turkish provocations and denounced that Turkey is “operating under the law of the powerful and not under the International Law. .”

“Our neighbors operate under the law of the powerful, while we insist on acting in accordance with International law. Turkey is discussing maps defining maritime zones, borders, etc. Turkey has not accepted the law of the sea, “he said.

Revealing that 5,000 Greek air space violations took place in 2019, the Defense Minister estimated that “there is an increased risk of an accident.

He noted that Athens has asked the NATO for measures against the Turkish challenges.

“For the first time in a long time the NATO leadership is listening” to the Greek position, he added.

Referring to the visit of Libyan general Khalifa Haftar in Athens, Panagiotopoulos said that Hafter was in contact with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and that his visit is in the framework of Greece’s “foreign policy rather than of defense.”

Finally, referring to the Berlin Conference, he criticized that Greece was not invited.

“The (German) justification that the debate (at the Conference) will not revolve around issues like resources sharing or  the maritime boundaries seems extremely inadequate. I think that with today’s move (Haftar’s arrival in Athens), Greece is marks its presence in this diplomatic ‘fever’, ” Panagiotopoulos stressed.

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One comment

  1. Germany is an old foe who tried to destroy Europe twice and it is showing its true colors again just like Turkey. When you are walking in the busy streets of Berlin you do not hear any German but Turkish everywhere. It is the 2nd largest spoken language. Turks killed Armenians while Germans killed Jews en mass and they dare waterboard a kindred Greece over this lost decade.