Greece’s frigate departs to join EU Red Sea mission

Greece formally agreed to participate in the maritime security operation in the Red Sea to protect commercial shipping from attacks by Houthi’s in Yemen.

Earlier on Monday, the Greek government approved the country’s participation in the European Union naval mission dubbed Eunavfor Aspides in the Red Sea.

Greece, a major commercial shipping power, has been directly affected by the Houthi attacks.

The government said it was important to join the mission as the Houthi attacks have disrupted Greek-owned commercial vessels’ activities at the country’s biggest port, Piraeus, and some container ships have stopped using it.

“The reduction in freight traffic in Piraeus amounts to about 40% and this has very serious consequences for the Greek economy,” the Greek defense minister Nikos Dendias said.

The minister emphasized during his visit to the Hydra frigate before sailing, that the participation of Hydra “involves risks, significant risks.”

Greece’s frigate departs to join EU Red Sea mission

He added however that Greece is compelled to take part: “Greece, as a maritime power with a leading role in world shipping, attaches great importance to the need to ensure free navigation, as well as the lives of Greek sailors.”

Operation Aspides will ensure an EU naval presence in the area and will provide maritime situational awareness, accompany vessels, and protect them against possible multi-domain attacks at sea.

Greece’s frigate departs to join EU Red Sea mission

The operation Commander will be commodore Vasilios Griparis, and the Force Commander will be rear admiral Stefano Costantino. The operation headquarters will be based in Larissa, Greece.