ATHENS – Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos, during an inspection of the fleet on Friday, stressed the Hellenic Navy’s capability and readiness to defend Greece’s territory and borders and, by extension, the territory and borders of the European Union.
He pointed out that the defence of the borders by Greece’s Navy is further justified by the fact that both the maritime borders of Greece and of the European Union are clearly defined and indisputable under international law in its entirety.
“We therefore send the message to every neighbouring country, and especially to our neighbour Turkey, that the basis of our friendship and good neighbourly relations and of their European perspective is the full and faithful observance of international and European law as a whole. This is also the position of the European Union, NATO and the USA,” he said.
Pavlopoulos reiterated that the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea is an integral part of international law and the basis on which the Exclusive Economic Zone of countries is defined. “And this Law of the Sea, under the 1982 Montego Bay Treaty – as I have often said and I will not tire of saying – is binding for everyone, even those parties who have not acceded to the treaty. Because that treaty generates generally accepted rules of international law that bind everyone,” he added.
He also pointed out that, in defending these positions, there could be no retreat, and concluded: “Defending these principles is also a defence of international and European legitimacy. We, the Greeks, are determined to respect this commitment.”