Dendias: "We must be prepared"

Thu, 23 May 2024 7:10 GMT
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias: When a neighbouring country questions our sovereignty we must be prepared.
Dendias: "We must be prepared"

"When there is a neighbouring country that questions the status of sovereignty, not only the sovereign rights but also the international treaties concerning the designation of a minority, this is obviously termed an existential threat. The legal and geographical boundaries of our country are threatened," Defence Minister Nikos Dendias said on Wednesday, addressing parliament during the debate on a bill for the establishment of the Hellenic Innovation Center.

He stressed that Greece "must be prepared for this, even while we welcome in the most absolute way, the lowered tones and the better climate that exists with neighbouring Turkiye over the last period".

Dendias unveiled the government's reform programme in the field of defence (Agenda 2030) which, apart from armaments, also includes the issue of compulsory military service, for which a draft law will be tabled in early autumn, he said.

Regarding arms programmes, he said that in the next few days he will raise the issue of the Constellation-class frigates - the next-generation solution for the Hellenic Navy - at the parliamentary committee for armament programmes. In the same session, Dendias said, he will additionally table the F-35 fighter aircraft programme, which is part of the reorganisation of the Hellenic Airforce based on the three types of later-generation (4.5 and 5th) fighters that include 200 modern F-16 Viper aircraft, Rafale fighters and F-35s.

"This is the planning of the 2030 agenda," said Dendias, adding that - as a discussion is underway at the Hellenic National Defence General Staff - "I will also tell you about it in the armaments committee but we are not yet ready to bring it, and the issue of the new generation submarines of the Hellenic Navy".

Summarising, Dendias that the issues included the Constellation-class frigates, the F35s and the matter of the submarines, leaving "the question of the 'middle ground' solution" to be answered. "I have repeatedly said that we are open and we are examining the issue of a fourth frigate, we are examining the issue of corvettes, and we are also examining the issue of LCS ships, if America gives us these frigates for free - I repeat for free - which the Navy considers could serve the needs of the medium-term...".


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