Greece will allow NATO’s ships which will be patrolling the Aegean as part of their operation to assist in tackling the refugee crisis to refuel at any port, once the drafting of the their operational plan is concluded, Defence Minister Panos Kammenos told journalists, adding that any operations will take place east of the Greek islands and towards the Turkish coast.
The decision follows a request by NATO to be allowed to refuel at Heraklion and Chania on Crete, with Greece also proposing –among others – the ports of Leros and Lemnos.
More ships deployed
The minister also said that NATO has so far engaged four ships: The German and Canadian ships have docked at Souda, while a Greek and a Turkish ship await directions in the Aegean. A firth Italian ship is currently participating in a navy exercise in Italy and will join the NATO force once it is concluded. The Greek navy has also involved 11 ships in the Aegean, while more could be deployed if NATO makes such a request, he added.
Concerning a document submitted by Turkey to the general secretariat of the top military commander of allied forces in Europe, which Kammenos says it includes “illegal and irrational demands”, it has not been taken into account, he noted.