The “moratorium” regarding cancelling of military exercises announced by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday evening did not age well. Just a few hours later, Turkey issued a navigation warning (NAVTEX) announcing naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean for October 27-28, on the Greek National Holiday.
On Friday, Stoltenberg told reporters that “both Greece and Turkey have decided to cancel military exercises which were planned for next week.”
According to Stoltenberg, the military exercises would be canceled on the national holidays of the two countries, Greece on october 28 and Turkey October 29.
“These are steps in the right direction, they help to reduce the risks of incidents and accidents,” he added, expressing hope that the move would have a positive effect on German-mediated efforts to ease tensions between the two NATO allies and rivals.
Greece said that no military exercise was scheduled for next week, and Turkey … just issued the NAVTEX that will bring its Navy very close to Kastellorizo.
Greek ambassador to Turkey submitted a demarche to the Foriegn Ministry in Ankara.
Greek internet user reacted with ironic comments to Stoltenberg’s announcement.
Congratulations on this morning's announcement of the moratorium between Greece and Turkey military exercises!
Turkey already issued a navtex of gunnery exercises during Greece's national day.#SanctionTurkeyNOW #TurkeyOutOfNato pic.twitter.com/bbrbK9PCTw
— Leonidas ToEat ♎☘🇬🇷🇬🇧 (@AnAthenianToLDN) October 23, 2020
One must admire Greece’s stance in the face of Turkey’s continuing ‘sabre rattling’ provocations.
It’s time that the EU/NATO made a proper definitive demand that Turkey obey international rules
and apply appropriate sanctions if that is not done before the situation spirals out of control.
Greece must resist calls for more direct action against this tin-pot dictatorship. I am sure the majority
of Turkish people would like to see an end to this volatile situation but their voices are rarely heard.