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Politics

Greece Denies Under Pressure to Send Air Defense Systems to Ukraine

ATHENS – Greece’s sending military aid to Ukraine to help defend against Russia’s ongoing invasion hasn’t put a crimp in Greece’s defenses, the government said, even as it denied being unduly squeezed to send more, including air defense systems.

“We have already provided tangible assistance to Ukraine and its people. However, it must be emphasized that no action will be taken – and I stress this – that could even remotely endanger our nation’s deterrent capabilities or air defense,” government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis told reporters.

“We have consistently refuted such claims in the past, and I reiterate our stance emphatically today,” he added, the New Democracy government responding to s report in The Financial Times.

https://www.ft.com/content/cc322202-97da-40e6-bdd2-ae1c89deea10

That claimed that European leaders personally urged Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez during a summit in Brussels to supply the systems to Ukraine.

Greece and Spain have more than a dozen US-made Patriot systems especially effective in shooting down missiles, although Greece also has Russian-made S-300 systems that would require Russian approval to send them to Ukraine.

The leaders of other EU countries reportedly pushed Mitsotakis and Sanchez to do more to help Ukraine, the bloc being without a military of its own and NATO sitting on the sidelines, not wanting to provoke Russia.

In a post on social media platform X, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, “‘Patriots’ can only be called air defense systems if they work and save lives rather than standing immobile somewhere in storage bases.”

The paper wrote that, “Greece and Spain are under intense pressure from their EU and NATO allies to provide more air defence systems to Ukraine, as Kyiv prepares to demand more aid at a meeting of EU foreign and defence ministers.”

Officials said less pressure was being put on Poland and Romania, which also have Patriots, to consider shipments to Ukraine because of their more vulnerable location on the border with Ukraine.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that he expected new pledges of air defense supplies “will be announced soon” but did not provide any details of the countries or weaponry involved.

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