In one more provocative move, Turkey has declared that the Turkish state oil company will commence research drillings in 24 areas of the Greek continental shelf in Rhodes, Crete and Karpathos.
The Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in an interview on Monday night repeated his threats to move forward with a challenge that Greece can not allow to remain unanswered.
“We cannot give away our continental shelf”, a Greek top government official told Proto Thema, carefully defining the Greek government’s latest defense limit and carefully avoiding using the term “red line”.
“The country will face all challenges with stability, confidence and always with a commitment to international law”, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned publicly, clarifying that Greece neither wants nor feeds tensions.
In letters to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel from June 3rd, 2020, Mr Mitsotakis made it clear that a possible escalation by Turkey would not only lead to a Greek-Turkish crisis but it will freeze Turkey’s relations with the European Union, with everything that this entails at the level of Euro-Turkish co-operation and the financial aid that Brussels is sending to Ankara.
“Greece was and remains fully prepared to face this challenge as well, if Turkey finally decides to implement it’s plans”, the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in a statement.
For his part, the Greek Minister of National Defense referred to the way Greece reacted during Turkey’s organized attempt to violate the Greek borders in Evros with tens of thousands of illegal immigrants two months ago. “Greece does not only monitor the situation, it sometimes shows its teeth”, said Mr. Nikos Panagiotopoulos.