N. Panagiotopoulos at the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence
The Minister of National Defence Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos participated in the Meeting of NATO Ministers of Defence, held in Brussels on 14 and 15 February 2023.
During the first informal session, which was attended by the High Representative of the EU Mr. Josep Borell and by the Defence Minister of Ukraine Mr. Oleksii Reznikov, the Minister of National Defence underscored the vital importance of the port of Alexandroupoli for the security of supply of NATO South-eastern flank.
He also stressed that, at this stage of the war, the need to reinforce the Ukrainian armed forces is an imperative.
He also underscored that Greece will participate actively in the tremendous work of the International Community for the recovery of Ukraine, and he stressed that Greece will provide military and humanitarian aid for as long as it is required.
Regarding the defence reinforcement and deterrence of NATO, he stressed the significance of a 360-degree approach, underscoring Greece’s multidimensional contribution to the Alliance. In parallel, he expressed the conviction that Finland and Sweden will be present at the oncoming Summit in Vilnius, as members of the Alliance.
Mr. Panagiotopoulos welcomed the NATO initiative to coordinate and support the protection of undersea infrastructure, according to the International Law of the Sea. He also mentioned that Greece fulfils its alliance obligations, by maintaining its defence spending above the amount of 2% of the GDP, and the investment for the acquisition of weapon systems and Research and Development above 20%.
During the meeting, the Minister of National Defence expressed his condolences to Turkey for the loss of human lives and the devastating consequences of the earthquake in our neighbouring country, underscoring that Greece immediately offered its assistance to the work of rescue.
In the end, Mr. Panagiotopoulos, at the sideline of the works of the Meeting, held bilateral meetings with the Defence Ministers of Germany Mr. Boris Pistorius, France Mr. Sébastien Lecornu and with the Defence Minister of Bulgaria Mr. Dimitar Stoyanov, in which topics of mutual interest were discussed.