The Greek Minister of Defence spoke about the possibility of a military conflict with Turkey, stressing that Greece is prepared for any scenario and ready to defend its rights and borders by any means.
“We don’t want to get there, but we want to make it clear that we will do whatever it takes to defend our sovereign rights to the fullest extent possible,” Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said on Star TV.
This statement by the Greek Minister of Defence comes a few hours after Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a press conference in Ankara with Fayez Al Sarraj, Prime Minister of the UN-recognised National Accord Government based in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Erdoğan said that Turkey and Libya would proceed with oil exploration and drilling in Greece’s maritime space in the eastern Mediterranean.
Panagiotopoulos highlighted how Turkey is “aggressive” but that Greece can deter this aggression with the “power of the Armed Forces.”
“Turkey’s behaviour lately is quite aggressive. I believe that the only way for Greece to deal with this behaviour, which generally has an increasing tendency to aggression, is on the one hand to exhaust all its diplomatic weapons and on the other hand to ensure an increase in the deterrent power of the Armed Forces.”
When asked whether Greece is “ready for a military solution” as Diakopoulos, National Security Adviser to the Greek Prime Minister said, Panagiotopoulos responded confidently, saying “Exactly! He said we are preparing for any eventuality. Of course, military involvement is possible in all cases. We do not want to go there, but we want to make it clear that we will do whatever it takes to defend our sovereign rights to the fullest extent possible.”
Diakopoulos spoke to Open TV’s news bulletin on Tuesday about Turkey’s challenges and drilling, as well as Athens’ moves.
The National Security Adviser was asked, among other things, whether “Turkey will finally proceed with the research and drilling it has announced, within the Greek continental shelf?”
The retired lieutenant colonel replied that “at the moment a plan is being implemented, which is and still is a lever of pressure for our country. Of course, Turkey knows that it does not have international law on its side and that is why it is trying to bring our country into a purely political debate.”
To create a hot episode, he replied “that such discussions that are already taking place have no unpleasant consequences”, while on the possibility of violating the water borders of our country, he stressed “we will react as we have already said in all tones, even militarily, although we believe that such a thing will not be needed.”