Ministry of National Defence | Greece will not support Turkish defence industry through EPF
Defence Redefined
Published on 21/10/2022 at 14:30

The current situation in Ukraine and the EU’s contribution to addressing it, European Defence investments and EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) operations and missions were at the heart of the meeting of the EU Defence Policy’s directors held in Brussels.

Our country was represented by the General Director of National Defence Policy and International Relations of the Ministry of National Defence, Dr. Konstantinos Balomenos. In his address during the first working session, Dr. Balomenos emphasized the need to strengthen EU defence and ensure unity and coordination against Russian aggression, after reaching an agreement in the Council held recently, which provides for the establishment of a military assistance mission to the Ukrainian Armed Forces and for the provision of assistance through the European Peace Facility (EPF).

He also highlighted the importance of ensuring the viability of the Mechanism based on strategic orientation and a pragmatic approach, making it clear to his counterparts, however, that the rules regarding the origin of the equipment provided must take into account the national interests and concerns of all member-states.

In this context, the General Director made it clear to his counterparts that Greece will under no circumstances advocate the support of the Turkish defence industry or the supply of Turkish military equipment through the EPF, given the collective nature of the said mechanism with contributions coming from the national budgets of member-states. 

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In the field of defence investments, during the second working session, Dr. Balomenos underlined the need to strengthen the European Defence Industry through the utilization of EU’s provided assets and tools, while the creation of incentives for member-states, such as VAT exemption, will significantly promote joint procurement. 

However, regarding the institutionalization of the joint procurement process, he made it a condition of utmost importance that the security interests of all member-states be taken into account.

At the working lunch, where EU military missions were discussed, Dr. Konstantinos Balomenos expressed his concern about the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel.

Expressing his position on the recent developments in Burkina Faso, he commented that the possible presence of the Russian mercenary group “Wagner” in the region provides a dangerous alibi for malignant third actors – who do not embrace democratic values – to consolidate their geopolitical influence in the Sahel, risking the further spread of the crisis to the south, in the Gulf of Guinea.

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Furthermore, he highlighted the value of Operation Atalanta in the area of ​​maritime security and freedom of navigation and supported the strengthening of synergies between the operation and other initiatives such as “Coordinated Maritime Presences”.

Finally, referring to the strategic importance of the Western Balkans, he reiterated that ensuring peace and security in the region is a top priority for Greece.

On the sidelines of the session, Dr. Balomenos also had a short meeting with his Swedish counterpart, during which NATO and EU issues were discussed, especially in view of the Swedish Presidency of the council in 2023, while he informed him about the developments in the eastern Mediterranean.

Source: APA MPA

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