Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday briefed the parliamentary special standing committee on armaments programmes and contracts as regards the course of negotiations on crucial armed forces contracts “based on the commitments undertaken by the preceding New Democracy government in the period 2007-2009, to ensure the continuation of the state and the country’s reliability”.

The negotiations are held taking under consideration the real needs of the armed forces as defined by the national defence planning and the country’s fiscal framework, a defence ministry statement stressed, adding that “during the negotiations are exercised direct or indirect pressures sometimes under the mask of allegedly journalistic interest”.

Venizelos also referred to the kickbacks for submarines issue, repeating that all aspects of the case will be investigated.

He also announced that a new inter-state framework agreement on defence contracts is imminent between Greece and Russia.

The defence minister briefed the committee on the course of the negotiations with France on a Hellenic Navy frigate programme and referred to government efforts to support the shipyards at Elefsina and Syros.