Greece on heightened alert with respect to Turkey, Katrougalos says

Greece has emerged as a calm force in the last three years, making use of its international alliances, enhancing its international prestige and especially its presence in the EU, which has proved itself a strong “card”, Alternate Foreign Minister for European Affairs George Katrougalos said on Monday in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency’s radio station Praktoreio 104.9 FM.

Referring to Turkey’s military operations in Syria, he pointed out that the Greek government is on a constantly heightened alert with respect to Greece’s neighbour. “Turkey is opening up many fronts, it is unpredictable, and it often seems willing to disrupt formerly close ties with countries such as Germany, America, while it is clearly keeping tensions high in the Aegean,” he said.

At the same time, he noted, and precisely because Turkey had adopted this role – namely, that of an unpredictable actor that also appeared to question established diplomatic relations in the region – Turkey had lost diplomatic capital and was unable to negotiate from a position of strength, having “burned all its bridges”.

Commenting on the re-election of Vladimir Putin in Russia with 76.65 pct of the votes, he said that “Greece, in the context of its multidimensional foreign policy, aspires to be a bridge between Russia – with which it is associated by historical ties – and the European Union.”