Nobody can threaten our sovereign rights, Defence Min says

Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said that the signing of an agreement between Greece, Cyprus and Israel on the EastMed pipeline is a tangible proof of the three countries intention to cooperate in order to have their own role in the production and distribution of hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean, in an interview on Thursday with Open TV.

Asked about a possible escalation of Turkish provocations, the minister reiterated that “our main principle is that nobody can threaten our sovereign rights. We are not afraid. We are examining all possibilities and preparing for everything.”

Referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s stance he said “that sometimes he reminds me of someone who is trying to revive the old Ottoman Empire, but finds himself up against a ‘wall’ of countries objecting to Turkey’s expansionism”.

Concerning the acquisition of frigates from France, he said that this was under negotiation but that many things remain to be clarified, adding that “we will buy what we want according to the Greek Navy’s specifications.”

On Greece’s possible participation in an F-35 military aircraft co-production programme, he said that the possibility is being examined and that he expects the American side raise the issue for discussion during a upcoming meetings in Washington.