Greece irritated by Spain’s arms deal with Turkey

Greece is dissatisfied with Spain’s agreement to sell Turkey more military hardware, the Greek Reporter news organisation reported on Friday. 

“We were apprised of the remarks (of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) and we shall be monitoring developments,” the news outlet cited Greek government spokesperson Yannis Economou as saying.

“It is self-evident that (EU) member-states are bound by the decisions of the European Council as regards Turkey’s delinquent behaviour and violations of international law,” Economou added.

During a joint press conference with Sanchez on Wednesday, Erdoğan said Turkey had agreed to purchase “a large scale” aircraft carrier from Spain and that talks over buying submarines were ongoing.

The Turkish navy’s flagship, the TCG Anadolu, is an amphibious assault ship based on a Spanish design. Erdoğan said the next carrier it acquires from Madrid will be bigger. 

“Given the potential of our countries, we desire to further deepen our cooperation in this field,” he added. 

Greece is locked in a series of maritime disputes with Turkey in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas and has pushed the EU to take stronger against what it says is illegal Turkish drilling in waters of the coast of Cyprus.

Last week, the EU extended sanctions imposed on Turkish entities involved in the drilling by a further 12 months. Currently, only two individuals are subject to the restrictions, which came into force in November 2019.

Meanwhile, Athens recently signed deals for advanced Dassault Rafale jets and multi-purpose frigates from France to modernise its military.
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