The Greek authorities is dealing with a diplomatic impasse as Washington is pushing Athens to ship Russia-made anti-aircraft missile techniques S-300 to Ukraine however retains mum concerning changing them with US-made Patriots.
Information web site News247 reported that Washington is pressuring Athens to ship the S-300 to Ukraine however with out seeming prepared to interchange them with their very own Patriots.
Protection Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos reportedly left open the opportunity of sending the S-300s to Ukraine, supplied the US first deploys Patriot missiles on the island of Crete and integrates them into the nationwide air defence system.
He additionally famous that the identical course of applies to every other Russian air defence system the US want to ship to Ukraine.
With rising hostility from Turkey, Greece needs to make sure its defence capabilities won’t be affected.
On 19 December, thirty-one Turkish plane, of which twenty carried weapons, violated Greece’s airspace throughout the Aegean Sea with out submitting a flight plan.
HellasJournal portal just lately requested the US authorities if Washington would change S-300 with Patriots.
State Division spokesperson Edward Value replied, throwing the ball again to Greece’s court docket.
“Every nation ought to determine for itself what it is ready to put together and supply to Ukraine. And we definitely admire the numerous methods wherein the worldwide group, together with Greece, has proven its assist,” Value stated.
“We at all times confer with the (related) nations concerning any contribution they make or could make to Ukraine’s self-defence”, the previous intelligence official added.
Fierce warning by Russia
In the meantime, Russia has warned Athens in opposition to sending S-300 to Ukraine.
“We take into account the provocative intentions to produce the Kyiv regime with the S-300 and different Russian/Soviet-style air defence techniques overtly hostile to Russia,” stated Russian international ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.
Zakharova added that one shouldn’t have any doubt that every one navy gear despatched to Kyiv can be “promptly detected and destroyed by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation”.
“Earlier than it’s too late, Greece can abandon the damaging plans. As soon as once more, we warn the Greek management of its accountability”, she added.
Beforehand, Russia’s everlasting consultant Crimea Georgy Muratov had stated that such a transfer could be “a harmful step in the direction of its nationwide pursuits”.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Greek-Russian relations have reached an all-time low.
Moscow at all times refers to polls suggesting that the overwhelming majority of Greeks (63%) oppose dispatching weapons to Ukraine because it places Greece “in harmful conditions”.
In response to a March ballot, 32% consider that humanitarian support and conflict materials must be despatched, whereas just one% say that “solely conflict materials” must be dispatched.
(Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com, EURACTIV.gr)