Athens toughened up its stance on Turkish action in the eastern Aegean, with the foreign minister and the government spokesman making it clear to Ankara that Greece’s response to another incident will not be peaceful.
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said in an interview on Alpha TV late on Thursday that the incident on Monday, when a Turkish vessel rammed a Greek one off Imia island, “touched on the red line and in some sense it overstepped it.”
He went on to add that there will not be another such peaceful behavior by the Greek side should such an incident recur.
Kotzias also clarified that “Imia is Greek” and warned Ankara “you should not open a gray-zone issue, because if we do, based on international law, not only are you wrong but you will also incur losses.”
Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos echoed Kotzias on Friday morning, warning that aggression will be met with an equal response.
“If there is another act of Turkish aggression on Greek territory, there will be a response and there is no other way for us,” he told Skai TV.
Greece’s verbal toughening comes as the Turkish armed forces conducted an extensive war game near the Greek-Turkish land border by Evros river in Thrace, including the scenario of crossing a river to invade a neighboring country.