Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos ruled out that Greece will send Leopard tanks to Ukraine, just hours before his Ukrainian counterpart Oleksiy Reznikov arrived in Athens on Thursday.
“We will help Ukraine if we have possibilities from the stock,” Panagiotopoulos said.
Speaking a the Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Parliament, Panagiotopoulos said that “there will be a lot of discussion, speculation, analyzes about what he is coming to ask for, we will give one, we will give the other as well , the rumors will rage” and that is why he hastened to clarify the Greek position.
“We’re giving what we can give, we’re not giving anything that would weaken our own defense capabilities in the least, given our own national security challenges, and if things are going somewhere better, in terms of bilateral relations with Turkey, then the our design in this regard is fixed and given and does not change.
Now, from there on we are willing to help as we can, but that’s it,” the minister said.
He added that Greece has sent BMP-1 amphibious tracked infantry fighting vehicles and ammunition of different calibers to Ukraine ,
“We have sent BMPs and we need to send more,” he stressed and underlined “if we have possibilities from the stock, from the surplus, we will help, because from the first moment we have said that we support every struggle against every revisionism.”
Panagiotopoulos recalled that he conveyed these Greek positions regarding the aid to Ukraine to the delegation of the US Senate, specifically to Senator Rick Scott, who recently visited Greece.
It is noted that last February Panagiotopoulos had testified that Greece was not going to supply Ukraine with the Russian S-300 anti-missile system, as such a move would weaken the Greek defense.