February 15, 20-18 – Fort Russ News –
– News24/7.gr, translated from Greek by Tom Winter –
|Greek Prime Minister Tsipras with the captain and crew of the Coast Guard ship rammed by Turkey near Imia|
Translator note: Tuesday, February 13, the Greek defense minister was intending to lay a wreath on the Greek Islet Imia. A Turkish PT boat rammed the defense minister’s Coast Guard ship to prevent him.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a tough message to Ankara from the Ministry of Shipping in the aftermath of the Turkish challenges in Imia – He applauded the attitude of the captain of the ship the Turks rammed: Coolness under fire is bravery, he said
One strict message to Ankara and those who “fantasize” about gray zones and violate international law was sent by the Prime Minister during his visit to the Maritime Ministry, where he participated in a meeting with the political leadership and the leadership of the Coast Guard.
“Greece,” he stressed, “is not going to allow, admit, or accept any contestation of its territorial integrity and sovereign rights.” He stressed that “Greece is not a game-playing country” but a country in the hard core of the EU, a NATO member state, with a strong regional role and international alliances, a pillar of stability and security in a more destabilized region.
Addressing the men and women of the Coast Guard, including the Gaudos crew, Alexis Tsipras noted: “At critical moments, the exhibiting of coolness is not only a responsibility but also a bravery.” He congratulated them on the “He said that “with absolute sobriety, calmness and determination we will preserve the stability and security that our region needs so much” and that “our Coast Guard will continue to play its role, to save lives and to monitor the country’s borders — the country’s maritime borders, which are at the same time the borders of the EU, showing courage and patriotic responsibility, coolness, professionalism and determination in the difficult times. ” Why, he stressed, “in the critical moments, the demonstration of composure is not only a stance of responsibility but also a stance of bravery, and on the contrary “ruthlessness and provocation is not only an attitude of irresponsibility, but a stand of cowardice and hatred.”
In particular, he said that “Greek Coast Guard is every day at the forefront, a guarantor of security at our maritime borders with a strong presence. In close cooperation with FRONTEX, which is conducting its largest business, in Greek seas, in the Aegean.” At the maritime borders, as he pointed out, it is not just Greece,
but also the European Union, “because our eastern borders are the eastern borders of the whole EU”.
“And that,” he said, “is something that everyone who fantasizes about gray areas and who question the basic rules of international law must take account of.” “And remember,” he added, “that the challenges and the aggressive rhetoric over the sovereign rights of a member state of the European Union are directed against the whole of the EU.”
The Prime Minister said that “in the last few days there have been incidents that violate international law and I want to be quite direct with you: The recent incident – I have in front of me men and women who were on the ship Gavdos, captain and all the crew – was the result of a completely irresponsible attitude on the part of the Turkish coastguard, an attitude that endangered human lives.”
He stressed that “our message, now and tomorrow, is always a clear message: Greek Coast Guard men and women are in the Aegean to save lives, not to endanger lives. Greece is not going to either allow, accept or tolerate any question of its territorial integrity and sovereign rights. Greece is not a country that plays games. It is a country in the hard core of the European Union, a NATO member state, with a strong regional role and international alliances. A country that is a pillar of stability and security in a more destabilized region.”
He commented that this is definitely annoying for them, the upgraded position of Greece in the geopolitical developments in the region. “But we are calling on them to be reconciled with reality,” he said, “and to note that” this reality requires absolute respect for international law and respect for the principles of good neighborliness, peaceful coexistence and regional co-operation.”