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NATO remains key to security, expert says

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In an interview with Kathimerini, Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger, one of Europe’s leading experts in international affairs and security and the chairman of the prestigious Munich Security Conference, expresses concern that the geopolitical repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic include a crisis of democracy while indicating that NATO remains the backbone of Greece’s security and calling for “strategic patience” with Turkey.

On potential security challenges for Greece, Ischinger indicated that Greece can rely on NATO. “I would look to the leadership of NATO, I would look to the US, I would look to other important member-countries like the UK, Germany and France, and others,” he said. He also invited Greece “to be a strong advocate of a stronger European self-defense effort, not to replace NATO but to add an additional layer, an additional component.”

Questioned about Turkey, Ischinger said there was a need for “strategic patience,” adding that he is not convinced the country will leave the West.

As for the repercussions of the pandemic, “my biggest concern is the crisis of democracy,” Ischinger said. He pointed to a “strong attempt” by some countries “to introduce more and more authoritarian rules of conduct.” Traditionally, nations would have looked to the US to lead the way out of such a crisis but the current administration “has not shown any interest or any ability” to do this. As a result, “we need to get our act together in a very fundamental way.”

He said he saw “a good chance” that Germany and France could lead the process “towards an EU which protects,” not only against military threats and pandemics. He added that the EU should move from consensus to majority voting in foreign policy decision-making. “We need to be able to speak with one voice.”


You can read the full interview here.