Greek PM slams Turkey for ‘unacceptable’ airspace violations
Athens, Apr 28 (EFE).- Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday said the latest violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets were “unacceptable”, accusing Ankara of undermining European security.
Speaking during a press appearance with his Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin, Mitostakis pointed out that he had informed Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg of the “dangerous overflight” by Turkish aircraft over some Greek islands, which he called “new provocations”.
On Wednesday, 126 incursions into Greek airspace – the highest number so far in a single day – were recorded by Turkish F-16 fighter jets and drones, which also flew over 30 Greek islands.
“I have made it clear that this kind of behavior by a Nato ally is unacceptable and undermines European security, especially at a time when it is indispensable that we stand united over Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” Mitsotakis stressed.
The prime minister reproached Ankara for not aligning itself with any of the sanctions adopted by the European Union against Russia.
“This is not the behavior that a country that aspires to join the European family should have,” he said.
Mitsotakis’ intervention comes after government spokesman Yiannis Ikonomou announced that Greece has decided to freeze confidence-building measures with Turkey following the record number of violations of its airspace in a single day by Turkish military fighter jets.
“Turkey’s actions are unacceptable, they constitute a violation of the country’s sovereignty and this is a provocation that will not go unanswered,” Ikonomou said on the freezing of Greek-Turkish meetings for Confidence Building Measures.
Ikonomou added that the Turkish provocations “are in no way in line with the spirit and content of the prime minister’s recent meeting with the Turkish president.”
In a statement, Greece’s foreign ministry said: “Turkey’s actions create a climate of particular tension in the region” and “undermine Nato’s cohesion at a particularly critical time in the wider region”.
On several occasions in recent years, Greece has condemned Turkey for similar behavior for violations of its airspace over the Aegean that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls “gray zones.” EFE