Interview with Nikos Dendias : Greece's Strategic Perspective on Regional Challenges and Defense Innovations

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The Minister of National Defense stresses that our responsibility, within the context of the Greek-Turkish disputes, is to do our utmost to sustain the prevailing atmosphere of calm that has emerged following the seismic events in our neighbouring nation.

"The constant desire of Greece, driven by its national interests, is for Turkey to align itself with the Western camp, adopting not only the European Union as an organization but also the values and principles of the European and Western framework," stated Nikos Dendias in an interview with Real FM 97.8. "

Locations that justify terrorist attacks, as evidenced by videos and photos, represent some of the most tragic scenes one can witness. We cannot remain indifferent."

Dendias continued, "Our role in the context of Greek-Turkish disputes is to, as much as possible, maintain the current atmosphere of détente, which has emerged after the recent earthquakes in our neighbouring country. However, I genuinely wish that Turkey's overall stance would align more closely with Western standards. Greece consistently calls upon all parties to respect international and humanitarian law, including our friends and the state of Israel. We do not condone retaliatory actions that involve violence against civilians."

Dendias also addressed the issue of Greece's direct military involvement, emphasizing, "Greece's participation in military operations is not a possibility. It is unsupported within the political system, and I believe it does not enjoy public support in Greek society either. Yesterday, I accepted the proposal from the head of the Greek Defense Ministry, and the Greek frigate, currently stationed off the coast of Lebanon as part of the United Nations operation, will be relocated to a position beyond 75 miles, outside the range of specific missiles and systems, for security reasons. Greece has no intention of becoming embroiled in a military conflict, and we are closely monitoring developments."

Regarding the ongoing tensions, Dendias commented, "There have been minimal violations and a significant decrease in the activities that dominated our daily lives for the past three years. It presents a different reality. The aggressive and illegal Turkish claims have subsided, but they have not been officially withdrawn; there is only silence."

Equipment-wise, Dendias mentioned several key initiatives for the Armed Forces, including the acquisition of three Belharra frigates, the upgrade of F-16 Viper fighter aircraft, and the introduction of Rafale fighter aircraft. He also discussed the Greek government's efforts to secure European Union funding and resources. He pointed out the differing operational needs and threats faced by countries like Greece and Luxembourg, emphasizing that without a positive outcome in the negotiations, there would be a strict prioritization of equipment procurement.

Dendias concluded by highlighting plans to announce legislation in the coming days to create an ecosystem for the innovation and development of the Greek defence industry. This initiative seeks to establish a "new reality" in the production of domestic defence technology products.

In closing, he noted, "There is funding available, but it necessitates a system and a collective commitment, as Greece can no longer be solely a consumer of foreign defence equipment. Greece is looking toward the example of Turkey, which has successfully developed its own drones and is striving to do the same."

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