Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Greek DM tells NATO that Greece’s equal standing with Turkey is “not acceptable”


It has been a busy day for Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos who informed the European Union’s Defense Ministers and NATO’s head about the current situation with Turkey in the East Mediterranean.

“At the Informal Meeting of the EU Defense Ministers, I informed my counterparts extensively, the Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg and Deputy Secretary General of the UN Jean – Pierre Lacroix, on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the provocative actions by Turkey in an area of ​​the Greek continental shelf,” Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said on Twitter.

However, in speaking with Stoltenberg, Panagiotopoulos did not shy away from telling the NATO head that the Alliance’s equal treatment of Greece and Turkey, in spite of the latter’s war mongering and provocations, is not “acceptable.”

“NATO’s policy of equal distances is detrimental to our country, but also to the cohesion of the Alliance, and therefore is not acceptable,” Panagiotopoulos told Stoltenberg.

The Minister of National Defense participated in the Informal Meeting of the Ministers of Defense of the European Union that took place today in Berlin. He briefed his counterparts, as well as NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, about the latest developments in the East Mediterranean following provocative actions by Turkey.

During the first Working Session, Panagiotopoulos pointed out the challenges of security and stability in the East Mediterranean from Turkey’s delinquent behavior within the Greek continental shelf. He stressed that Turkey’s general stance and its destabilizing illegal actions in the East Mediterranean constitute a blatant violation of Greece’s sovereign rights and pose the risk of escalating tensions in the region.

The Minister also made it clear to his counterparts that Greece, with absolute respect for international law, consistently faces the current challenge and fully defends its national sovereignty and the external borders of the EU, highlighting the important and difficult task of the Greek Armed Forces. However, he also stressed the European Union’s commitment to maximum vigilance and its role in order to restore the environment of peace, security and stability in the region.

During the discussion on EU co-operation with partners in the operational part of the Common Security and Defense Policy, Panagiotopoulos particularly noted that cooperation with third countries must presuppose that the latter share the principles and values ​​of the Union while acknowledging the consistently positive and constructive EU cooperation.

On the other issues on the agenda, the Minister of National Defense emphasized the support of Greece in processes, such as the strategic compass aimed at developing a strategic culture within the Union, in order for it to be able to take autonomous action where circumstances require it.

During the working dinner that followed, he did not fail to mention the importance of maintaining the resilience of the EU in the face of multiple challenges that lurk in the present period, attaching particular importance to the demonstration of solidarity and readiness.

Turkish FM makes threats to Greece during joint statements with German ally

Turkish FM makes threats to Greece during joint statements with German ally (VIDEO) 2

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu threatened Greece with use of force and said Turkey’s response will not be an accidental one, but a direct action with no hesitation.

The remarks were delivered in a joint presser with visiting Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas who attempted to mediate by just calling for dialogue despite his Turkish ally directly threatening Greece next to him.

“I want to make the following recommendation to Greece. Give up on being bratty. You talk like this with unconditional and full EU support. When not received, you blame those EU countries as well. You have to understand that you will not get anywhere with this,” he said.

“Especially do not put yourself at risk by following the encouragement of some countries. In other words, if you make statements like ‘we will defend our rights here,’ or ‘we will do exercises there,’ or if you take the wrong steps, we will not have an accidental response this time,” Çavuşoğlu continued.

“Whatever is necessary, we do it without hesitation. So, do not get agitated, encouraged by these countries and act with common sense,” the Turkish Foreign Minister said.

“In order for Greece to behave more sane, the European Union and other countries should also warn Greece. So they should warn instead of unconditional support,” he said.

“Greece has already seen in recent meetings that they will not receive this unconditional support. In other words, if such messages continue to be given, then Greece will think healthier and take better steps. But these provocative steps do not help Greece at all,” Çavuşoğlu concluded in his speech given next to his German ally.

Germany has been a centuries long ally with the Turks and for this reason is completely unprepared to place sanctions on Turkey despite its constant threats against European Union member Greece and its daily violations of Greece’s air and maritime space.

Monday, August 24, 2020

We are on the verge of a military confrontation with Turkey: Greek MP

France sends forces into eastern Mediterranean to quell tensions between  Greece, Turkey | Fox News

At a time when the Greek government is trying to keep a low profile regarding Turkish delinquency in the Aegean in order to start, through German mediation, investigative contacts, Maximos Harakopoulos stressed in Parliament that Greece’s neighbour “have pushed us to the brink of military confrontation,” Documento News reported.

After the revelation of the Oruç Reis Turkish research vessel violating Greece’s maritime space and the resignation of the Greek Vice Admiral and former National Security Adviser to the Prime Minister, Alexandros Diakopoulos, the chairman of the Public Administration Committee, Maximos Harakopoulos, argued more or less that we are one step away from a military conflict with Turkey.

“Greece is facing a crescendo of Turkish challenges,” said the Member of Parliament that belongs to the ruling New Democracy party.

He added that this situation “has pushed us to the brink of military confrontation.”

According to Harakopoulos, Ankara has chosen a revisionist policy, which is subject to the neo-Ottoman proposals. He added that instead of international law, Turkey has adopted the law of power and conquest.

This is of course beyond doubt as Turkey refuses to resolve its manufactured crisis with Greece over maritime space by utilizing international law or institutions.

Turkey is one of 15 countries in the whole world to not sign and/or ratify the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea, and it is also one of the few countries in the whole world to not recognise the authority of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Both of these mechanisms could be used to resolve the maritime issue, but Turkey refuses to do this.

On August 12, things became tense when the Turkish Kemal Reis frigate that was escorting the Oruç Reis research ship collided with the Greek Limnos frigate which was monitoring the illegal movements of the Turkish fleet in Greeece’s continental shelf, as reported by Greek City Times.

The Limnos was watching the Oruç Reis from a safe distance. The Kemal Reis, considered one of the best ships in the Turkish Navy, estimated that the Greek warship was planning to obstruct the navigation of Oruç Reis.

The captain of the Greek frigate, Lieutenant Captain Saliaris, followed a steady course and continued the voyage to monitor the Turkish research vessel without changing direction. The Kemal Reis continued to approach the Greek warship.

When it was about 450 yards away from the Greek warship, the captain of the Turkish frigate had to according to international navigation rules give priority to the Greek frigate – but did not. The result was that the Greek frigate with its bow collided with the rear of the Turkish frigate through exceptional seamanship.