OPINION

June 4, 1959

REPLY TO USSR: The Greek government handed an important document to the Soviet Union in reply to a Russian announcement of May 14. The Greek text clearly rejects the threats and refutes the Soviet arguments one by one. It is significant that Greece is the first to take a stance regarding the proposal for a «missile-free zone.» Greece’s position is based on the admission by the Soviet government that there are missiles on Soviet territory capable of striking Greece, which means Moscow’s pledges not to install bases in Bulgaria and Albania fail to serve Greece’s defense interests. Greece regards guarantees by foreign governments as insufficient security and says the only effective solution is a general agreement on missile restrictions, either on a comprehensive or partial basis. Athens also says that the operation of bases in Greece – if a decision is made to this effect – would be under the control of the Greek government. Therefore, the Soviet claim that Greece could be drawn into a war against its will, due to its membership in NATO, does not hold. NATO: The head of NATO’s Allied Air Forces Southern Europe, Lt. Gen. Richard Clark Lindsay said in Athens yesterday that if the West were attacked, NATO was capable of making any aggressor regret its action within three days.