DENDIAS

Step by step, the Greek Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are planning reactions against the new phase of Turkish escalation and provocation, after Ankara announced plans to conduct oil and gas explorations in areas of Greek maritime space.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias had back to back meetings on Sunday night and Monday afternoon, where he “locked” the plan for the Greek counterattack against Turkish aggression on three levels, namely the United Nations, NATO and the European Union.

The Foreign Ministry had ready-made twin letters which were sent on Monday to the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, and the General Assembly of the Organization.

Greece, together with Cyprus and Armenia, are putting up diplomatic obstacles for the election of Volkan Bozkir, a Turkish diplomat, to the presidency of the UN General Assembly. While there was initially no reaction when Turkey put up its candidacy in November 2019, Athens is now analysing in detail the reasons for the reversal of the Greek stance through a letter by the head of its Permanent Mission to the UN, Maria Theofili.

In particular, these letters describe the licensing process for Turkey’s energy research in Greece’s maritime space as illegal, while referring to endless Turkish violations of Greek airspace and territorial waters.

In addition, it is recalled that Turkey attempted to weaponise thousands of illegal immigrants on the Greek-Turkish border in Evros in March. At the same time as using illegal immigrants to asymmetrically pressure Greece, Turkey conducted a fake news campaign to defame and discredit Greece, accusing Athens of violating international law and human rights. According to the letter, Turkey’s provocative and aggressive actions against Greece have reached unprecedented levels.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also notified member states of the United Nations Security Council on Turkish delinquency. Dendias intends to inform NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about Turkish actions, possibly in a letter, while on June 15 he will brief his European counterparts on the latest developments at a meeting of the Council’s Foreign Ministers.

It is more than clear that the Greek government is on high alert and is closely monitoring the progress of the new phase of Turkish provocations.

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