Berlin says “Nein” to Greece’s request to freeze the sale of submarines to Turkey

Berlin says "Nein" to Greece's request to freeze the sale of submarines to Turkey 1

Berlin once again refused Greece’s request to freeze the sale of six German-made submarines to Turkey.

According to sources used by Proto Thema, in the telephone communication between Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and his German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the severity of Germany’s actions was discussed.

Panagiotopoulos asked Berlin to suspend the construction program of six type 214 submarines.

He argued that they would be used by Turkey to pursue an expansionist policy in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos.
Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

The German Defense Minister reportedly replied that the program to build and sell to Turkey the six submarines type 214 cannot be stopped – or even delayed – because the manufacturer Thyssen is bound by contracts signed since 2002.

The Merkel government’s clear refusal, even to postpone the delivery of the submarines to Turkey, shows the attitude of Berlin towards Athens and Ankara.

Panagiotopoulos’ communication with Krab-Karenbauer was initiated by the German Minister of Defense in preparation for the talks she will have next week with her Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.

According to sources, the German minister asked to be informed of the Greek positions on issues raised by the Turks on a number of matters related to the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

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It is rather clear that the German Defense Ministry wants to know the Greek position to avoid another controversial situation, like when German Foreign Minister Haiko Maas sat in silence when his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu threatened Greece.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.

The Greek Defence Minister had a telephone conversation on Wednesday with Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, in which they discussed recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Minister of National Defense briefed his German counterpart in detail on the Greek positions regarding issues of security and stability in the wider region.

Regarding the dialogue with Turkey, Panagiotopoulos stressed that it concerns exclusively the issue of delimitation of the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone on the basis of International Law.

Makis Pollatos is a correspendent for Proto Thema.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor