ATHENS – “Washington is concerned that Turkey is no longer a reliable partner in the region. Its concern is mainly based on Erdogan’s decision to purchase and install Russian S-400 missiles, a decision that is a ‘red line’ for the United States,” Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said in an interview with ‘Naftemporiki’ newspaper on Monday.
“There will always be those in Washington who will say that ‘Turkey should not be lost,'” he added. “But the feeling is that they are not so convincing anymore, because of Turkey’s behaviour.”
“Therefore,” he continued, “let us not rush to conclusions. The most important thing is for us to do our job at the diplomatic level, so that the Americans can be convinced that Greece is the reliable partner in the region. We have taken significant positive steps in this direction.”
He clarified that “tension with Turkey is not in anyone’s interest. There is certainly frustration on their part when they see that the Greek government is moving forward and signing agreements that protect the country. Our task is precisely to shield the country from any threat in a geopolitical environment with worrying instability.”
He reiterated that “anything threatened is not demilitarised. The more Greece considers that there is a military threat to its islands, the more it reserves the right to organise its defence upon them, as on every inch of its territory.”