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Media: Greece will not prolong air defense contracts with Russia, may send systems to Ukraine

by Martin Fornusek August 25, 2023 6:14 PM 2 min read
Tor-M1 air defense system, 2010. (Source: Wikimedia Commons/Vitaly V. Kuzmin)
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Greece will not sign new contracts with Moscow on maintaining Russian-made air defense systems in the Greek military's arsenal and may instead send them to Ukraine via third-party countries, the Greek news outlet Pronews.gr reported on Aug. 24, citing a leaked official document.

No new contracts means that the 21 Tor-M1 systems and 38 Osa-AK/AKM systems that Greece acquired around 20 years ago may be left without spare parts within months once the current stocks run out and that they would soon be decommissioned, the outlet reported.

The Greek military's own supplies of spare components are already low, as the government was not even fulfilling its current contract on purchasing spare parts and components from Russia, the news report said.

According to the classified document from Defense Minister Nikos Dendias that was leaked through the Greek Parliament, the contract to support the systems for the coming years would amount to over 102 million euros ($110 million).

While the outlet writes that the batteries will "probably" be sent to Ukraine through third-party countries, it does not specify the timeframe or who might these intermediaries be.

Greece has provided Ukraine with military assistance in the past, including BMP-1 armored vehicles, small arms, and ammunition.

However, Athens has been hesitant to supply more modern or higher-grade weapon systems such as Leopard 2 tanks in order to maintain its defense posture against Turkey.

Most recently, the Greek government has pledged to join the international effort to train Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets, which Kyiv is expecting to receive from Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.

Greece wants to help rebuild Odesa
Greece wants to help Ukraine rebuild Odesa’s historic urban center, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a joint press conference with President Volodymyr Zelensky in Athens on Aug. 21.
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