NEWS

Turkish aggression raised with EU, US

PM briefs summit about Ankara’s escalations; Berlin appears to keep an equidistant stance

Turkish aggression raised with EU, US

In response to Turkey’s aggression “on a rhetorical and ground level” particularly over the last few days, Athens is formally raising the issue with its allies and partners.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis briefed the EU summit in Brussels on Monday, and described Turkey “as a factor of destabilization in the Eastern Mediterranean region” during brief comments to reporters upon his arrival. 

“Greece is facing these challenges with confidence and determination. We are a country that has international law on its side, we have strong allies and of course we have invested even more in our deterrence, so that we do not allow anyone to challenge our sovereignty and sovereign rights,” Mitsotakis told journalists.

For his part, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias referred to the issue in a phone call with his US counterpart Antony Blinken, during which they also discussed the case of the two Greek-owned ships seized by Iran last Friday.

It has been noted in Athens that the communication between the two men came at a very specific point in time, that is shortly after Ankara decided to cut off the communication channels with Athens. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that he will never meet Mitsotakis again. 

Dendias also spoke with three of his counterparts, Saudi Arabia’s Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud, Israel’s Yair Lapid and Cyprus’ Ioannis Kasoulides.

Although Greece’s regional partners appear to understand the problems that Ankara is creating in the Eastern Mediterranean, partners in the EU such as Germany seem to be keeping equal distances on the issue. 

Tellingly, when asked about escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey, deputy government spokesperson Christiane Hoffmann noted that Berlin was “closely monitoring developments” and called for “dialogue between the two sides.”

The message out of Berlin was that “cooperation in NATO is particularly important at the moment” and that both sides should work for a solution. 

Meanwhile, Defense Ministry sources said on Monday that Greece may face “hybrid-type threats” this summer aiming to destabilize the country internally.

The threats would possibly be played out on the islands and on the country’s northeastern border with Turkey along the Evros River, the sources said.

“This summer we may have hybrid-type threats on the islands and at the border in Evros, aiming at internal destabilization,” the sources added.