UK Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace, and Greece’s Minister for National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, signed a Joint Vision Statement on February 7. Wallace stated that the goal of this agreement was, “to strengthen our already close relationship in order to face common threats and challenges together while looking forward to new opportunities for future cooperation.”
The agreement will allow the two countries to work together and enhance their ability to address new issues and threats more cohesively. Specifically speaking, the agreement also means that there will be joint training of military personnel and exercises. The countries have had strong relations for many years. The UK has military forces and bases stationed in Cyprus which means the closest, stable ally that the British have would be Greece as Turkey, despite being a NATO member and despite Cyprus being located right off of the southern coast, is gaining a reputation of being the outcast of the group.
That, of course, is due to the potential accension of Sweden into NATO being blocked by Turkey and the subsequent deterioration between Turkey and Sweden. Which means that NATO is unable to grow it membership at a time where Russian aggression has turned into an all-out war. Needless to say, the UK likely realizes that it may not be able to depend on Turkey in the near future and hopes to continue building its relationship with Greece.
This meeting can actually be seen as a preview of what is to come next Tuesday and Wednesday when the Defense Ministers of each NATO nation meet in Brussels. A program shows that Tuesday will see meetings between ministers and members of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry. However, it is uncertain of who Ukraine’s Defense Minister will be when Tuesday comes around. Regardless, Wednesday will see a meeting with the Defense Miniters of NATO and those of Finland and Sweden.
Despite the uncertainty of the future, Greece and the UK will further work together in to face whatever may come in the following years. Each year, the two countries will come together to create an annual roadmap which will outline the defense cooperation priorities. With that, this agreement is meant to last for some time and will serve as a cornerstone of cooperation between the two countries.