The Greek Defense Minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, gave an interview to the radio station SKAI 100.3, in which, he spoke about the country’s intention to buy F-35s, the defense budget, the possibility of acquiring UAVs and the Hellenic Navy Armament programs.
When journalist Vassilis Chiotis asked if Greece really needed the F-35 aircraft or if it was only a show of force to Turkey, he replied:
“Shall I tell you something?” We will need them and we will need them for sure, because the F-35 is the fifth generation aircraft that it will be, it has already started to be, in a few years entirely the main fighter jet of NATOmember countries.
There have already been quite advanced discussions with Lockheed Martin which is interested in strengthening its relationship with our domestic Defense Industry (Hellenic Aerospace Industry). And therefore I think that sooner or later, of course, it will be the choice of the Greek side.
I have said many times that we are first interested, I remind you that the acceptance of this interest is included in the Blinken letter that accompanied the second modification to the Defense Cooperation Agreement that we passed in Parliament a few days before we left for Washington, along with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, in a debate in Parliament that we all attended days ago.
We wanted to go to Washington with this case over, that is, the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement passed. To this, then, the second modification was attached the Blinken letter by which the United States recognized the interest of Greece for the F-35.
But these things have a continuity and are procedural and symbolic, in my opinion, and it was critical to leave this visit with United States official consent for our country’s admission into the F-35 program.”
With an occasional question from Notis Papadopoulos on how much money Greece spend on new weapons, the Greek Defense Minister referred to the enormous growth in the defense budget and how it will move in the next years.
“The budget for spending on armaments has risen in two years from 500 million in 2019 and 2020 to 3.5 billion in 2022. But it will not be the same. There will be fluctuations.
In any case, it will be significantly stronger than in the days of the financial difficulties that brought the cost of armaments to 500 million a year with so many needs that over time became more urgent.
For example, the need to replace the old frigates of our Navy, something that was partially achieved with the three “Belharra” frigates but we are not done yet, we have other decisions to make,” Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said.
“We’re doing our job, and we’re doing our job in terms of general replies to this area, where Turkey has admittedly made good progress and is performing well in terms of Turkey’s demands. But we do our job.
So I assure you that the General Staffs have prepared their own plans and have taken, so to speak, the initiative needed to get answers to this kind of challenge, the threat if you will, which of course is not the noticeable difference in power correlations.
So do not overestimate the use of drones and UAVs by Turkey as we also take our measures and there is no need to say more words on them.
What I want to say is that at the moment it’s important that Greece is listened to by its Allies, valued and treated with respect by one of our strongest Allies, who is none other than the United States, this emerged from the visit to Washington»
The confrontation with the Swedish Foreign Minister was allegedly sparked by Turkish Foreign Minister on Saturday during a meeting of NATO foreign ministers with their Swedish and Finnish colleagues.
According to NATO sources quoted by Reuters, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu suddenly raised his voice and shouted at his Swedish counterpart Anne Linde that he was tired of “her feminist policies”.
The Turkish foreign minister was in a “crisis situation”, a NATO diplomat told Reuters, referring to the ministerial meeting in Berlin.
“It was a historic moment for us, and yet Çavuşoğlu said he was annoyed by Linde’s ‘feminist policy’ by making a ‘scene,'” the NATO diplomat said, while others described the incident as “uncomfortable” and “shameful.” ».
It is recalled that the Turkey is opposed to the accession of Sweden and Finland to the North Atlantic Alliance as according to Turkish officials, the two countries and mainly Sweden support the Kurdish PKK.
The Turkish Foreign Minister also expressed his country’s concerns to his American counterpart at a meeting held at the UN in New York on Wednesday.
The Turkish president had previously stated that he would veto Swedish and Finnish NATO membership, but shortly afterwards his spokesman and adviser, Ibrahim Kalin, said that there was a security issue which Turkey wanted to discuss with the two countries.
Nevertheless, in recent days, the Turkish government has again appeared vertical in its stance, after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu claimed that Sweden and Finland support terrorism and have no place in NATO, and Erdogan said that Finnish and Swedish delegations shouldn’t go to Turkey for talks.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov acknowledged on Wednesday that Russia was facing difficulties in the war in Ukraine and called German Chancellor Olaf Scholz “schizophrenic.”
Kadyrov criticized German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for “behaving like a schizophrenic” and not as head of state.
He further added that Russia was at war with NATO and not with Ukraine, noting that NATO and the West were arming Ukraine.
“Today, we are not fighting against the Ukrainians – we are fighting against NATO. “NATO and the West are equipping them, their mercenaries are there.”
“That’s why it is not easy for our country, but it is a very good experience. “We will prove once again that Russia cannot be defeated,” Kadyrov said.
He also praised the policy of Russian President Putin, saying that he always makes the right decisions.
“We are united by our President, his honesty, his true service to our country and our people. And not everyone immediately realizes that he is making the right decisions, but in the end, they prove to be right every time,” said the Chechen leader.
During a program that aired on the Turkish television station Ulke TV, a Turkish journalist expressed absolute certainty that Greece will launch an attack against Turkey.
In a TV show on the channel, of which he is the presenter, the journalist in question, who is also a columnist for the Aksam newspaper, commented on the discussion that took place with guests of the show about the USmilitary bases in Greece and stated that “Greece is going to attack Turkey”.
“Greece is preparing to create a mess with the power it receives from the USA. Greece will attack Turkey, I say this for the record,” the Turkish journalist stated
Here on GEOPOLITIKI, we would like to remind you that it is not Greece but Turkey that violates Greek airspace over Greek islands, disputes international agreements, invokes the law of the sea without signing it, threatens with war if Greece exercise it’s legal rights, illegally occupies part of Cyprus and has intervened militarily in Iraq, Syria and Libya.
Greece is quietly arming itself and prepared to face any potential threat.
According to a document of South Africa that was published, Greece, in 2021 bought electronic warfare equipment from the African state.
South Africa’s annual report states: “South Africa’s defense industry exported Rs 3.3 billion worth of weapons, ammunition and military equipment to 67 countries worldwide last year, according to the latest figures from the State Conventional Arms Control Commission (NCACC).
Informing Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Defense (JSCD) recently, the chairman of the Conventional Arms Control Committee, Mondli Gungubele, revealed that in 2021, 574 export licenses were approved in 67 countries, worth Rs 3.35 billion (196.000.000 €) ».
“South Africa is known for its electronic warfare technology and in 2021 exported electronic warfare equipment worth over Rs 210 million to 18 countries.
The largest contracts came from Sweden (South African Rand) 42 million, Mozambique (11 million), India (26 million), Greece”(22 million) and Brazil (65 million),” the South African State Conventional Arms Control Commission announced in a statement.
During Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis trip to the United States, and especially during his meeting with President Joe Biden, the issue of getting F-35s was officially cleared up, and the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) was also talked about.
The Greek Prime Minister’s position on these issues, however, came after he referred to Cypriot issue.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis in parts of his statements said:
“Mr. President Joe Biden, you are extremely aware of the Cyprus issue and please use all your influence to get the negotiation process back on track in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. No one can and will accept a two-state solution in Cyprus.
The Balkans are also quite fragile. We must keep the European perspective alive and tangible. Greece is a pillar of regional prosperity and security and we will always seek peaceful means to resolve our differences with our neighbors. I am convinced that we can achieve this. We place great emphasis on the 3 + 1 regional alliance scheme that connects USA with Greece, Cyprus and Israel.
And at the same time, Mr. President, we will continue to invest in our Armed Forces and be absolutely clear that we will not let anyone violate our sovereignty and our sovereign rights. And we do it to strengthen not only Greece, but also the southeastern wing of NATO.
We will continue our long-term cooperation between our defense industries.
We will begin the process of acquiring a squadron of F-35 aircraft.
And we hope to be able to add this fantastic aircraft to the strength of the Hellenic (Greek) Air Force before the end of this decade.
And I’m glad that on Friday, Lockheed Martin formally expressed its interest in investing in Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI). The ties that connect us, the ties between America and Greece go far beyond our common history, security and defense.
They span many fields, from trade to tourism and from technology to cultural exchanges. There is so much, ladies and gentlemen, that both sides can win. As you know, Greece has experienced serious difficulties,” said the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in parts of his statements.
We remind you that we at GEOPOLITIKI already informed you of the official intention of Greece to acquire the F-35s immediately after the completion of the order of the RAFALE and F-16V fighter jets.
After acquiring the RAFALE F3R, F-16V, and F-35 fighter jets, Greece will be able to entirely dominate the airspace over the Eastern Mediterranean against Turkey. This will provide Greece with complete air dominance, allowing it to teach Turkey a lesson for violating Greek airspace on a daily basis.
Sweden and Finland submitted their NATO membership applications despite Turkey’s objections.
The two applicants and other NATO countries were surprised by Erdogan’s concerns.
Turkey’s rhetoric has hardened in recent days.
On Tuesday, Sweden and Finland moved forward with their applications to join NATO despite Turkey’s stance, which said that it would not allow them to become members of the alliance.
The highly expressed objections raised by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took the two applicants and other NATO members by surprise.
This complicated what was supposed to be a quick enlargement of the alliance in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and explains the partnership between Putin and Erdogan that is not only targeting the Scandinavian countries but also NATO member Greece.
“Over the past few days, Turkey’s words have undergone a rapid shift toward a more hardline stance. Nevertheless, I am certain that we will find a solution to this problem through constructive dialogue,” stated Finnish President Sauli Niinisto while he was in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.
Niinisto stated that he had a conversation with Erdogan at the beginning of April, and that during the conversation, Erdogan made it very apparent that he was supportive, stating that the Finnish membership should be evaluated favorably. It would appear that there are several points of view at this time. It is imperative that we keep talking about it.”
At a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm on May 17, 2022, the Swedish application for membership in NATO was signed by Ann Linde, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Mikhail Khodaryonok, a retired Russian colonel, disputed Putin’s claims that Russia could position missiles against Finland and criticized the country’s military effort.
Khodaryonok also said to mistrust the Russian government’s narrative of the Ukraine war.
Khodaryonok warned panelists about false accusations of low morale in Ukraine’s army.
Mikhail Khodaryonok, a retired Russian colonel, dismissed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that Russia could position missiles against Finland and openly condemned the country’s military campaign.
On Monday, a Russian defense columnist by the name of Mikhail Khodaryonok made an appearance on Russian state television and during a panel discussion that was broadcast on Russia-1 television channel, Khodaryonok stated that:
“The main deficiency of our military-political position is that we are in full geopolitical isolation, and however much we would hate to admit this, virtually the entire world is against us,”
In addition to this statement, Khodaryonok told viewers to doubt the truth of the Russian government’s official account of the war in Ukraine.
Khodaryonok told to the other guests on the panel, referring to reports about low morale in Ukraine’s army. “All of that, put mildly, is false.”
He also stated that “the essential thing in military strategy, it’s always to preserve a sense of military-political realism.”
“If you go beyond it, then sooner or later, the reality of history will hit you so hard you’ll regret it,” he added to the other guests who were stunned and tried to interrupt him.
On Tuesday, a committee in the House of Representatives held the first public congressional hearing on unidentified flying objects in more than half a century.
During the hearing, top Pentagon officials disclosed that the number of “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP) reported by pilots and service members had increased to approximately 400.
Rep. André Carson, a Democrat from Indiana and the chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Counterintelligence, Counterterrorism, and Counterproliferation, introduced the topic of the hearing by stating that unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) “are a potential national security threat, and they need to be treated that way.”
According to Scott Bray, the deputy director of US naval intelligence, the increase in sightings can be attributed to a number of different factors, such as the growing popularity of quadcopters and drones, updates in sensor technologies, an increase in aerial clutter such as mylar balloons, and a perceived decrease in the stigma associated with reporting.
According to Bray’s explanation, there is no evidence to suggest that paranormal or extraterrestrial activity was involved in any of the sightings, even if many of them remain unexplained.
In one of these incidents that took place in 2004, fighter pilots operating from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific came into contact with an object that appeared to have dropped tens of thousands of feet before stopping and hovering.
In a separate event, which was brought to the attention of the general public for the first time on Tuesday, footage of an unidentified flying object can be seen passing by at high speed alongside a fighter jet from the United States Navy, and there is still no explanation.
After the open session, there was a closed session in which members of Congress were given access to classified information and briefed on its contents.