Deputy Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, in an interview on Alpha Radio 989, was asked to comment on statements made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which again raised the issue of demilitarisation of the Greek islands.
Specifically, as Varvitsiotis stated, that Turkish claims are not only provocative, but also unhistorical and violate common sense.
As the deputy foreign minister explained, Greece is essentially arming itself, not to attack Turkey, but to prevent aggression of a neighbour.
"We are not arming ourselves to attack Turkey, but to defend ourselves against Turkey," he said.
Regarding the Turkish allegations about the demilitarisation of the Greek islands, the minister stressed that the best thing for Turkey to do is to abolish its amphibious fleet and to stop provoking Greece on a daily basis.
Regarding the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, Varvitsiotis noted that both Greece and Europe are committed to the peaceful settlement and diplomatic settlement of the dispute, while he also pointed out that any military conflict in Ukraine will result in no winner.
"Unfortunately, Europe did not seem to be represented at the negotiating table, despite the very active participation of France and Germany," he added.
Ankara’s provocative statements
Just yesterday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan raised the issue of demilitarisation of the Aegean islands, noting that Ankara will keep the issue on the agenda.
“What steps should Turkey take against Athens if the armament is maintained?” the Turkish President asked according to state-controlled outlet Anadolu.
Erdoğan added: “It is impossible to remain silent about the military activity, in violation of the agreements for the demilitarisation of the islands.”
“In fact, we have put this issue on the agenda of the United Nations.
“We will keep it on the agenda.
“The issue of islands is always controversial.
“They may force us to bring three controversial issues to the agenda.
“That is why ministers should not force us to open this debate.
“We are giving them a high-level warning,” the Turkish president concluded.
The same remarks were made a few days ago by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.