In what was seen as a thinly disguised warning against Turkey, newly appointed Defense Minister and former chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff Evangelos Apostolakis said Greece will staunchly defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity if it has to.
“Our national airspace, our land borders and maritime boundaries are protected 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – and this is something that we have demonstrated,” Apostolakis said in Parliament Monday. “Anyone who questions our sovereign rights will instantly be met with a devastating response,” he said. “Times are crucial and they warrant unity and national understanding.”
Turkish media reported that Ankara will position two gunboats and one coast guard vessel near the Imia islets in the eastern Aegean ahead of the 23rd anniversary of the dispute that brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war in 1996.