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NATO critical of Greek-French defense pact the Parliament ratifies later on Thursday

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg appeared critical of EU defense initiatives and bilateral pacts within the bloc such as the one between Greece and France.

“What I don’t believe in is efforts to try to do something outside the NATO’s framework or compete with or duplicate NATO because NATO remains the cornerstone, the bedrock for European security and also for the North American security,” Stoltenberg said speaking at an event organized by the Brookings Institution and Georgetown University on Tuesday.

The remarks by NATO Secretary General came ahead of the ratification of the Greek-French defense agreement by the Greek Parliament scheduled for late Thursday.

Addressing the plenary of the Parliament on Thursday morning, Greek Prime Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the Greek-French defense deal “a first step towards the strategic autonomy of Europe.”

The defense deal with France includes a mutual assistance clause, which states that the two sides will come to each other’s aid “with all appropriate means at their disposal, and if necessary with the use of armed force, if they jointly ascertain that an armed attack is taking place against the territory of one of the two.”

Mitsotakis said last week that the mutual assistance clause “essentially says that if any of the countries is attacked, if its territory is challenged, its sovereignty is challenged, then there is an obligation by the other party to assist it.”

The idea of collective defense is a principal tenet of NATO, of which both Greece and France are members, as is Turkey, the associated press notes adding that “Article 5 of the alliance’s treaty stipulates that an attack on one member nation is considered an attack on all.”

“Does Article 5 apply in the case of an attack by a NATO member? I’m not sure NATO has ever been very clear on that issue,” Mitsotakis had said when asked during the conference why Greece needed an extra alliance agreement. “My obligation is to defend my country and to form the necessary alliances over and above the security arrangements that we already have.”

The deal also includes a provision for Greek participation in French-led military operations such as those it has conducted in the Sahel region of Africa.

The dispute at the Greek Parliament today, ahead of the ratification, is not the NATO but whether Greek soldiers will be deployed to defend French interests in Africa.

The pacts is expected to be ratified with the votes of ruling New Democracy and opposition parties KINAL/PASOK and nationalist Greek Solution.

PS Maybe opposition was convinced by the PM’s argument at the Parliament today that “the only nuclear super-power in Europe is on our side.

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  1. NATO was set up as part of the USA’s Cold War policy to supposedly defend western Europe from Soviet invasion. It has no meaning at all now, and will definitely do nothing to protect Greece from Turkey as they are both members of NATO. Stoltenberg is just trying to protect his job and personal financial interests — the usual crap we see these days from politicians and bureaucrats everywhere.

    NATO should be shut down, the Yanks sent on their way, and Europe pay for its own military defence in the context of the WEU. Of course, where the toadying UK will be with that, who knows? Possibly still clinging to the coat-tails of the US and whining about how evil the European Union is…

    • You said,
      NATO should be shut down.

      Speaking at Nato HQ in Brussels, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia was “openly threatening Ukraine with war and destruction of our statehood”. But unlike in 2014, he added, “Russia won’t be able to catch anyone by surprise anymore.


  2. A_Nonimuss
    You need to stick to gardening ,or something other than world politics .

    List of NATO members who have met their membership spending requirements. (GDP)
    Croatia is in third place with 2.79%, while Estonia (2.28%), Latvia (2.27%), Poland (2.1%), Lithuania (2.03%), Romania (2.02%) and France (2.01%) also make up the 10 nations meeting NATO’s proportional 2% target.
    now I’m not an geographical expert but there seems to be a pattern forming of countries bordering Russia .

    I would like you to have a symposium with the defence ministers of above mentioned eastern European countries ,and explain to them how the EU army will stop russian aggression .
    Sorry my man your punching above your pay grade ,

    • What remarkable arrogance from someone with clearly so little knowledge! My pay grade is well above yours, dearie.

      I thought it was very clear in my post that Europe has to pay for its defence. This means much higher defence spending for just about every country in western Europe other than France and Greece. Since 1945, Europe has relied on US military funding, and we have to stop this dependence on a foreign power. It is not necessary and it is not sensible.

      Your comments are very obvious and totally known to me.

      • No more arrogant than you calling anyone with a alternative opinion to yourself ” idiot”
        Gardening it is then .

    • There is no longer any reason why we should not be able to defend our interests on our own! We are being challenged by an islamic power, illegally occupying a EU member state. Stoltenberg argued last week that Nato was not going to take position on a « difference of opinion ». He can’t think like a lawyer, can’t speak like a soldier.

  3. The United States, Greece, France, and even Germany begs to differ with him.

    Stoltenberg’s position is mere theatrics and toothless given NATO’s trademark of inaction that led to this formal union among two of its members. Members who abide by international laws and do not play the largest NATO member against NATO’s largest adversary, let alone buy weapons for them.

    I think that it is time that Stoltenberg step aside.

    Stoltenberg participated in protest rallies against the U.S. war in Vietnam in the 1970s.
    Stoltenberg said “We sang the chorus, ‘Singing Norway, Norway out of Nato.’ It was a hit he said. In 2001,
    Stoltenberg crashed his Labour Party-owned car into a parked car. leaving without even leaving a note.

    NATO requires inegrity and sensible leadership who is willing to act, lacking any of these makes one grossly incompetent for the role.

    Please…please… who cares what this clown says. If Britain joins the pact, it will be exponentially more powerful than NATO ever was or ever could be!

  4. Huh? What about Greece and the US talking about stronger cooperation on defense? Also outside of the NATO framework.

  5. Plus how is Stoltenberg supposed to protect us from the Russians, since he can’t even take position on a delinquent alliance member?

  6. Allies like Russia Britain and France were critically instrumental in Greece’s brave war of independence and during World War Two. Greece won the first allied battle against the Italians when outnumbered 2 to 1 and against superior military hardware. Greece continued to be of an enormous asset against Germany’s Operation Mercury that delayed Operation Barberosa into the Russian winter, leading to Germany’s defeat with endless praise from allies; precedent setting to this day above their endless contributions to the west since ancient times.

    Today’s tiny modern Greece of law abiding and kindred, freedom loving, and traditionally gallant souls is powerful enough but it also has allies against this aggressive Islamic dictator seeking to pirate Greek territory again.

    Greece also has security agreements with the USA, Israel, Egypt, even the United Arab Emirates. Turkey’s dictator can not pirate one grain of Greek territory even if he buys 400 F16s, never mind 40. Even Russia, from who he buys arms, has already supported Greece’s position in Cyprus.

    Turkey’s illegal actions are suicidal and destined to fail if they dare pursue their unlawful trespass and attempted piracy to the further detriment of their reputation and nation. Greece alone ensures criminal actions will fail, let alone with the combined allied forces against this Islamic aggressor who’s allies are only Pakistan (the largest state sponsor of terrorism) Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc., while against Kurds who battle ISIS, etc. This expansionist Turkey is increasingly isolated and at odds with its neighbors to the detriment of its people. Erdogan’s spineless cat and mouse theatrics, backstabbing, or playing victim fools no one.

    It is about time something was done! Four decades of illegal occupation in Cyprus is also well overdue to be addressed than allowed further of endless provocations when threatening Verosha. The west can not lose what it does not have and Turkey is a horrible NATO partner. Better that allied forces protect Europe than NATO, and especially because of Turkey.