The “internationalization of Turkish provocations is bearing fruit,” Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias pointed out in an interview to ‘Parapolitika’ newspaper on Saturday.
The minister added that Greece now “receives the support of our partners to a significant extent, who, compared to the past, understand more about our positions as well as the challenges we face.”
Continuing, he noted that “the political climate in European capitals, in Washington, and elsewhere, has changed radically, something that was not self-evident 2 or 3 years ago,” and he clarified that “in addition to verbal statements, we have written commitments, agreements with strategic partners, which strengthen us against any threat.”
In recent letters Dendias sent out to the UN, NATO and the EU, he explained that he “did not even have to go as far as develop Greece’s arguments, as the outrageous statements of Turkish officials that we quoted constitute direct proof, so they do not need further comments [from Greece].”
Greece is “sending out a message of responsibility and it is highlighting the risks to regional stability and security,” he said.
The Greek government “has made it clear that it will not leave any challenge unanswered,” he added, and he reiterated that Greece in 2020 launched a campaign to internationalize Turkish provocations and aggressive actions, “calling on Greece’s partners and allies in the EU, NATO and UN to condemn Ankara’s misconduct, and to take a clear position.”
Asked about Turkey not adopting the sanctions against Russia, Dendias noted that the real stake is whether the EU and NATO are satisfied with its stance: “in the eyes of some allies and the UN, Turkey, because of its role in reaching a deal to export grain from Ukraine -with Russia’s tolerance- has increased its geopolitical importance – but that does not grant it absolution (…), while [Turkey] is a haven for Russian oligarchs, as well as persons who have been banned from entering European territory.”
Over the last few months, he underlined, Turkish exports to Russia have doubled, the largest Russian investment in the world is the Akkuyu Nuclear power plant, while Turkey supplies Russian weapon systems such as the S-400. As a result, Turkey has been eliminated from the F-35 program, there is a possibility of new sanctions, while the US Congress opposes the upgrade of the Turkish F-16s. In stark contrast, Greece has access to all the American [defence] systems it wants.”
“Europe is the future of the Balkans – not the reconstitution of the Ottoman Empire,” he observed.