WASHINGTON – Turkey-US relations continue to sour and the US has begun to openly discuss various options regarding US/NATO armaments. US Senator Bob Menendez believes that the US can move its armaments from Incirlik’s military base in Turkey to Greece if relations with Ankara worsen. However, this option may not be available to them.
“We do not expect Turkey to go the wrong way, but if that happens, we will do everything that is up to us to protect our national security and the security of our allies,” he said in an interview with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini .
“We are committed to this in accordance with NATO Article 5. We will do all that is necessary, including the displacement of bases and forces where it is necessary and where allied countries offer us this possibility. We hope that we do not have to resort to this. Turkey should set out its course and what, after all, is in its interest,” Menendez said.
Some Greek politicians have stated that the US could use infrastructures in Greece to store nuclear weapons that are now in Incirlik. The Greek government denied this. Despite the denial, the issue of the displacement of nuclear weapons to the territory of Greece is constantly being discussed in the press.
However, Russia is a strategic partner for Greece, and Athens intends to develop cooperation in all fields, said the first deputy minister of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sia Anagnostopoulou, quoted by FRN on April 20th.
“Russia is our strategic partner, and after the visit of the Greek Prime Minister [Alexis Tsipras] to Moscow in December 2018 and his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the cooperation has been very good and fast,” Anagnostopulu told reporters.
He noted that Athens cooperates with Russia in all areas not affected by the sanctions.
Menendez for his part is in Athens, where he will be welcomed by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. Earlier, the US senator visited Cyprus, where he held a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades.
Menendez presented to Congress a few days ago, along with Republican Senator Marco Rubio, the so-called law of cooperation in the area of security and energy in the Eastern Mediterranean region, which changes the US strategy in the region and foresees the strengthening of relations with Greece and Cyprus.
In the interview, the US senator said that Russia is “a hostile factor”, having repeated all the set of accusations regarding Moscow, including interference in the US elections.
As for China, Menendez declared that the Chinese initiative “One Belt, One Road” is not a form of economic cooperation, it is an attempt at manipulation. The “One Belt, One Road” concept is an international initiative by China to improve existing commercial transportation corridors and create new ones that would connect more than 60 countries in Central Asia, Europe and Africa and which should contribute to the development of relations trade between these countries and China. This idea was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
China has often stated that the initiative offers significant benefits to all participating countries and reflects modern trends.