Russia Threats Greece If Sending S-300 Air Defense System To Ukraine

Russia Threats Greece If Sending S-300 Air Defense System To Ukraine
Russia Threats Greece If Sending S-300 Air Defense System To Ukraine

Moscow - Russia will regard Greece's plan to provide Ukraine with the S-300 air defense system previously obtained from Moscow as an "openly hostile act." Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova confirmed this on Sunday (18/12/2022).

Greece has considered sending Soviet-era weapons to Kiev if the United States agrees to replace them with the MIM-104 Patriot system. "It would be a gross violation of the…Russian-Greek…agreement on military and technical cooperation," Zakharova said.

He added that the 1995 and 2013 agreements that Moscow and Athens signed in this area “explicitly prohibit Greece from re-exporting military equipment supplied by Russia without Moscow's approval. Trampling on its commitments according to the agreement will certainly have consequences," the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry warned. "Such a move would also contradict the position of the majority of Greeks," he said, adding that surveys said 70% of Greeks were against "pumping Ukraine with guns."

Although Zakharova did not cite her sources, a survey by Greek broadcaster Mega TV in March showed about two-thirds of Greeks oppose sending military equipment to Kiev. Athens is considering delivering a long-range S-300 air defense missile system to Ukraine stationed on the island of Crete.

On Sunday, Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos said such a move would be possible as soon as the US replaced them with Patriots. "If the United States installs a Patriot system on the island and after integration is connected to the national air defense system, then the S-300 can be removed," Panagiotopoulos said at a meeting of the Greek Defense Ministry.

Recent statements from Greece point to a change in the country's position since June. At the time, Panagiotopoulos stated Athens “will not be sending S-300 weapons systems” to Ukraine because Athens needs them domestically. Moscow has repeatedly warned the West that arms shipments to Ukraine will only prolong the conflict.

Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the West had de facto turned Ukraine into a "colony" and was using Ukraine "as cannon fodder" and a battering ram against Russia while supplying arms to Kiev.

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