The Greek government has called on Germany to halt the sale of attack submarines to Turkey, arguing that the sale could upset the naval balance of power in the region as tensions with the Islamist-led country remain high.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias spoke out about the issue following a meeting in Athens with Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Friday, stating that the sale of the submarines could upset the balance of power.
“These submarines risk shifting the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean in favor of a country which, despite being a member of NATO, has issued a threat of war against Greece,” Dendias said, newspaper Ekathimerini reports.
German minister Baerbock, however, simply encouraged Turkey and Greece to resolve their differences, saying: “Fighting within the alliance – that is exactly what the Russian president wants.”
The request is not the first time Greece has complained to Germany, ostensibly a European Union ally, over the sale of the submarines. Last year, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke out about the sale which was greenlit by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“Germany plans to export attack submarines to Turkey. This is an issue which concerns us,” Mitsotakis said.
Erdogan: Greeks Will Be Made to 'Understand' Turkey Has 'Military Power' to 'Tear Up' Map https://t.co/xaF0h8nbFG
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 5, 2020
Tensions remain heightened between Greece and Turkey as Ankara looks to resume drilling operations for natural gas near the island of Cyprus next month.
Previous resource exploration caused tensions between Greece and Turkey in 2020 as Greece declared the research was being done in waters that belonged to Greece and went as far as putting the Greek armed forces on alert over the issue in July of that year.
Turkey has also accused Greece of attempting to militarise islands in the Aegean that it claims, a claim that has been rejected by the Greek government.
Giannis Oikonomou, a spokesman for the Greek government, spoke out about the claims in June, stating they were “Ahistorical claims and baseless myths that can neither challenge nor, let alone, substitute international law and international treaties.”
Turkish Official Claims Eastern Mediterranean Part of Turkey’s ‘Blue Homeland’ https://t.co/ayUnM6AYBD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 15, 2021
Earlier this year President Recep Tayyip Erdogan cut off diplomatic ties with Greece’s Prime Minister Mitsotakis after accusing the Greek leader of coordinating to halt fighter jet sales from the United States during an official visit to the USA.
“This year we were supposed to have a strategic council meeting. There’s no longer anyone called Mitsotakis in my book. I will never accept having such a meeting with him because we walk on the same path as politicians who keep their promises, who have character and who are honourable,” Erdogan stated.
A possible migrant crisis also looms in the background as Turkey has repeatedly threatened to open the gates to Europe for migrants again, and a report from June indicated that migrant crossings between the two countries were on the rise.
WATCH: Turkey Arms Migrants with Tear Gas, Sends Freed Prisoners to Border, Claims Greek Government https://t.co/Y7F6saZiTA
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 6, 2020