Furious answer to the German Defence Minister by the Greek DM “Greece remains committed to NATO, despite close ties with Russia”

Obviously displeased answered Athens to the German Denfense Minister’s provocative comments

It was a sharp response of the Greek Defense minister Panos Kammenos to his German counterpart’s comment  of “Greeece jeopardizing its position in NATO by approaching Russian interests.”

“Greece has always been on the side of the Allies when they fought back German occupation armies … The behavior and statements of German politicians, which seem to wish to replace NATO and EU officials, are not only disallowed but approach blackmail”, was Panos Kammenos comment

Kammenos also blamed German DM Ursula von der Leyen for trying to “undermine European institutions, part of German aims to break apart the EU and NATO”.

Though, he added, “Greece is unwilling to replace Germany in its privileged relations with Russia”.

On Wednesday, February 4th,Defence Minister Panos Kammenos told AFP that Greece’s new government remains committed to its NATO role despite close ties with Russia that have worried its allies.

Speaking after his first meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and on the eve of a gathering of the alliance’s defence ministers, Kammenos played down concerns that Athens could go soft on Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

“We spoke a lot about relations between the alliance and Greece; I assured them that relations will continue as before,” Kammenos said in an interview at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

“We will continue our cooperation on a political level and also on a military level.”

A NATO official said Stoltenberg had “thanked Greece for its continued commitment to the Alliance.”

“He stressed that Greece has contributed substantially to NATO for over six decades and said he counts on the steadfast commitment of Greece to NATO.”

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Kammenos played down any fears for Greece’ s commitment to NATO saying that  “We have seen these reports concerning Greece’s and NATO bonds, in recent days all around the world, but Greece will continue to be a member of Europe and NATO, that’s for sure.”

On the same moment , he made clear that Greece would maintain its ties with Russia too.

“Of course Greece has political relations with Russia. These relations are not hidden, these are open relations and we will continue to have those relations,” he said.

“The majority of Greek agricultural production is exported to Russia and now with the sanctions that has really affected farmers,” he said.

“Also we have (Russian) military equipment, we discussed that with the secretary general. We will continue to source spare parts so that we are able to keep this equipment, which will remain within NATO.” the Greek Minister of Defence added.

“Good afternoon comrade!”, a Russian bridge to Alexis, by Putin himself . Help might be so crucial, indeed

 Since the first three days of Alexis Tsipras election. Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told CNBC that Russia would consider giving financial help to debt-ridden Greece. Siluanov said Greece had not yet asked Russia for assistance, but he did not rule out an agreement between the two countries if Greece came asking.

“Well, we can imagine any situation, so if such petition is submitted to the Russian government, we will definitely consider it

Putin

Some days later, on the peak of Greece’s negotiations with European authorities, -actually, on the same day and time of the ctitical meeting of the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble, Vladimir Putin called Alexis, teasing more Berlin by his -on- the- side involvement  in the European play.

Informations leaked to several Greek media describe Alexis’ surprise when he picked up the phone,-not because he was not expecting it, ( the PM’s office was officially informed of president’s Putin intention to call the Greek PM), but because he heard Vladimir saying in Greek

“Καλησπέρα σύντροφε !” (Good afternoon, comrade), According to the same sources, Alexis answered ” Kαλησπέρα φίλε σύντροφε!” ( Good afternoon friend comrade)

Oficially, as the State NERIT Tv reported, Putin called Greek Prime Minister to invite him to Moscow on May 9th 2015, an invitation welcomed by Alexis, and which, by the way, is not an accidental invitation date for the Greek PM to visit Moscow.

Russia celebrates the 9th of May as the Victory Day to mark the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union in the Second World War.

As reported by the Greek Media, the phone conversation took place at 1:30 pm when the Varoufakis-Schaeuble meeting was scheduled to conclude and the press conference to start.

Putin and Tsipras reportedly talked about “all issues”.

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In a statement issued by the Russian Presidency, Putin and Tsipras talked about the Ukraine and “other international issues, among them the South Stream and the Turkish Stream pipelines.

Also the Russian Foreign and Defense Ministers have invited to Moscow their Greek counterparts.

As a high-ranking Greek official had  htold media, wrote te  keeptalkinggreece blog,

“Greece wants to broaden the spectrum of intense negotiations and the pressure tools towards German intransigence.

The high-ranking official said also that the conversation took place after Putin’s request, who shows strong interest for the moves of the Greek government.”