NEWS

ND demands answers over Saudi defense deal

TAGS: Politics, Defense

New Democracy’s shadow minister for defense, Vassilis Kikilias, plans to put Defense Minister Panos Kammenos on the spot regarding a procurements agreement with Saudi Arabia.

Speaking on Skai TV on Monday morning, Kikilias said that the conservative opposition would be seeking answers regarding recent confusion as to whether negotiations for a 64-million-euro deal for tank shells with Saudi Arabia is being conducted as required by Greek law, with the mediation of an authorized broker.

According to the conservative official, Parliament’s defense procurement committee was presented on June 17 with an agreement for Greece to sell projectiles to Saudi Arabia that had been negotiated by a specific broker listed as representing the Saudi side. On August 29, Kikilias said, the Saudi Defense Ministry said that the deal was being negotiated directly between the two ministries, without a broker.

Kikilias also pointed to reports that Kammenos had accused the head of the ministry’s procurements committee – who had been appointed by the defense minister himself – of being part of a network trying to sabotage the deal.

“There can be no rash deals in this ministry,” Kikilias said. “Which deal is in effect right now? The one from June or that of August? And who is the broker?”

Kikilias added that he will also be seeking answers regarding reports in foreign media that in 2016 Kammenos had secretly acted as a mediator to arrange a meeting between Trump’s foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Papadopoulos last month admitted to lying to the FBI in regards to contacts he had with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential race.

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