Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus are planning, between 26 and 28 August, a “joint military exercise” south of Crete, in the eastern Mediterranean, a possible “dissuasive warning” aimed at Turkey.
Days ago, Emmanuel Macron ordered the sending of two “Raphael” and a ship to the eastern Mediterranean, when the Greek-Turkish tensions broke out. The discoveries of important oil deposits in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years precipitated a rosary of tensions and disputes between Ankara and Athens. Those tensions were aggravated last week when a Greek ship and a Turkish ship “collided”, more or less “accidentally”, in Mediterranean waters claimed by Greece and Turkey.
At the end of June, the French Minister of Defense denounced the “hostile behavior” of the Turkish navy, before her colleagues of the Atlantic Alliance. After sending two “Raphael” and a warship to the eastern Mediterranean, France and its president received from the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, this warning: “Macron does not know where he is putting his feet”.
The “joint military exercise” of Greece, France, Italy and Cyprus, between August 26 and 28, unofficially announced by Athens, could be interpreted as a double gesture of armed solidarity with Athens and a new warning to the growing Turkish interventionism. Within the European Union (EU), only Italy has adopted a behaviour of double solidarity with Greece and France. Germany, for its part, is trying to mediate between Greece and Turkey, without much success, until now.