Borrell says EU ‘determined’ to protect external borders

Borrell says EU ‘determined’ to protect external borders

The European Union is “determined” to protect its external borders and Greece’s territory, the bloc’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, said during a visit at Greece’s northeastern border on Wednesday.

“Greek concerns identify with the concerns of the EU…It is clear that we are determined to protect the EU's external borders and to strongly support Greece's sovereignty,” he said, adding that Greece’s borders are also EU borders.

Borrell and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias walked near the Greek-Turkish border crossing of Kastanies, amid fresh concerns in Athens of a possible attempt by Turkey to push migrants into Europe.

The two officials were briefed by a representative of the Hellenic Police (ELAS).

Asked about his meeting later in the day with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (at 6 p.m.) and Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos in Athens, Borrell said they will discuss the situation in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

He said he was aware of Turkey's drilling activities in the region but also of violations of Greek airspace.

On his side, Dendias said that Turkey's "attempt to blackmail" the EU into accepting concessions by pushing migrants to cross the border "has failed," adding that dialogue between neighbouring countries "with facing shores for the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf is the only legitimate way" to resolving differences.

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