Greek Defence Minister: “What is threatened is not demilitarized”

17 May 2021
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The clear position of Greece that what is threatened is not demilitarized, stressed speaking at the Economic Forum of Delphi, the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos. “There is a real threat and based on our sovereign rights we must take measures for the defense of parts of the Greek territory”, he added.

Referring to the criticism of the Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar for the visits of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and Panagiotopoulos himself to Greek islands, the Greek Minister stressed that “no Turkish official can dictate to a Greek official where he will travel in Greece“. 

For the upgrade of the operational capabilities of the Hellenic Armed Forces and especially of the Navy, Panagiotopoulos stated that a great effort is being made in this direction in the last two years. “We have a plan, a priority and an economic capability and we have to do it because the weapons systems are getting older as time goes on”, he said, referring to the frigates to be supplied by the Navy. The oldest frigates we have are 50 years old and the least old are 40 years old. “Even if there was no tension with Turkey, we would proceed with the upgrade of the Greek fleet”.

Regarding the assumption of the presidency of the Meeting of the Ministers of Defense in the European People’s Party (EPP), N. Panagiotopoulos pointed out that this development is “important for the country” and “honorable” for him. “Through me”, he said, “the presence, readiness and quality of the country’s Armed Forces are recognized. This was proven in practice in 2020 by the successful management of the crisis of Evros but also later by the successful management of the prolonged crisis in the Aegean and the Southeastern Mediterranean. Europe recognizes that Greece has highly deterrent and well-functioning Armed Forces”.

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