Greek Minister of National Defence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos in an interview with Mega Channel said “the Greek Armed Forces are ready for any eventuality,” replying to a question about the possibility of a Turkish ship’s presence within the “limits” of Greek maritime space.
“It simply came to our attention then. We knew that Turkey was not going to stop its planning, to stop the provocative attitudes towards Greece and international law. This is despite the fact that the existence to a great extent, from what we understand, the problem of coronavirus,” Panagiotopoulos said.
“The fact is that Turkey insists on the same behaviour. Even in times of internal crisis, Turkey has shown that it is reacting in this way, exerting – as I have said before – tension mainly towards Greece. So nothing is ruled out. It is a given the economic impact of the disease, but also of Turkey as a whole, is unfavourable at this time. They face big problems with their economy, as the whole world is facing. This cannot go unnoticed. One cannot function as one did before,” said the Defence Minister.
He continued: “The expediency of demarcating the so-called Turkish-Libyan Economic Exclusion Zone is a given (EEZ), the fake EEZ as we say, was early as last November. We are waiting, we are ready for any eventuality, to see some movement as summer approaches. We would rather be different as we would like our relationship to be good and not bad. I would prefer the only traffic we will see in this area to be as much tourist traffic as possible on both sides of the Aegean. We don’t know if this can be done or they are my pious desires, it will definitely be influenced by the disease, but I wish we could avoid this kind of scenario. Be that as it may, the Greek armed forces are ready for any eventuality. We must repeat this. We are worried but we are not afraid,” he said.
In November 2019, Turkey and the Muslim Brotherhood government in Libya released a new map of their EEZ that carved up large areas of Greece’s maritime space.
The map received widespread international condemnation and has not been recognised by any other country. According to the United Nations Charter Law of the Sea, in which Turkey is one of only fifteen countries to not sign, the true EEZ can be seen in the map below.
Turkey has nearly 100,000 coronavirus cases and over 2,200 deaths. However this number is widely contested with skeptical journalists and social media users arrested.
Despite coronavirus being out of control in Turkey, the country has not relented in its aggression against Greece and continues to provoke a war.