Greece Holds Firm: No Weapons to Ukraine Without Guarantees

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.31 - 2024 9:09 PM CET

Photo: Wiki Commons
Photo: Wiki Commons
Amidst the escalating conflict, Greece makes a stand, prioritizing national security over international pressure. Here's why they're not sending their air defense systems to Ukraine.

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Greece has officially stated it will not be sending any of its Russian anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine unless it receives comparable replacements from Western allies.

This announcement comes directly from Nikos Dendias, the head of the Greek Ministry of National Defense, whose words highlight a steadfast commitment to maintaining Greece's defense capabilities intact.

Greece’s Stance: Security First

Dendias, in his interview excerpts published by the Athens Macedonian News Agency, left no room for ambiguity regarding Greece's position.

“There is no question of their withdrawal from the Greek national air defense system, where they are integrated, without replacing them with weapons systems with similar or superior combat capabilities,” he firmly stated.

This insistence on direct replacement before any military aid can be considered underscores a deep-seated prioritization of Greece's national defense over international demands.

Moreover, Dendias pointed out the complexity of international arms agreements, hinting at the multifaceted considerations that come into play when countries negotiate defense equipment sales and transfers.

It’s not just about handing over weapons; it’s a dance of diplomacy, security assurances, and strategic interest balancing.

A Unified Front on National Interests

The sentiment of prioritizing national security isn’t isolated to Dendias alone.

The Greek government, including Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has echoed this stance, making it clear that the deployment of Greek military assets to Ukraine hasn't even been on the table for discussion.

This unified approach showcases a Greece that is cautious, measured, and unwavering in its dedication to protecting its own.

Greek government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis further solidified this position by articulating the potential risks involved in transferring air defense systems to Ukraine.

The message is clear: any action that could potentially weaken Athens' security posture is off the table.

This perspective is not only about immediate defense capabilities but also about ensuring the long-term security and stability of Greece amidst a turbulent regional environment.

Looking to the West for Solutions

While Greece's stance might seem firm, it also opens the door for Western nations to step up and fill the gap. Reports have already surfaced about France's commitment to transferring old armored vehicles to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, a move reported by Le Parisien and referencing La Tribune.

This indicates a potential path forward where Western allies could provide the necessary systems to allow Greece to support Ukraine without compromising its own defense.

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