Greece Under US Pressure To Send S-300 Missiles To Ukraine

NATO member Greece is mulling the transfer of some of its Russia-made anti-aircraft missile systems S-300 to Ukraine, at a moment it's reportedly under pressure from Washington step up support to Kiev. 

Previously Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos signaled that the government is mulling the S-300 delivery, but only if the US replaces these systems with Patriot anti-air defense batteries for Greece.

Greece Under US Pressure To Send S-300 Missiles To Ukraine
S-300 file image

Currently, Athens is worried about its own defense capabilities in the face of ongoing Turkish threats and an expansionists vision echoed in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's bellicose rhetoric and that of his top officials. 

The other major factor causing the Greek government pause includes the repeat fierce warnings from Russia, at a moment that relations with Moscow are already said to be at an all-time low.

Russia recently warned, "We consider the provocative intentions to supply the Kiev regime with the S-300 and other Russian/Soviet-style air defense systems openly hostile to Russia," according to the words of foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

She added that any Greek-supplied foreign military equipment will be "promptly detected and destroyed by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation."

"Before it is too late, Greece can abandon the dangerous plans. Once again, we warn the Greek leadership of its responsibility," she stressed.

In a separate statement the Kremlin has also recently warned that sending S-300s would be "a dangerous step towards its national interests" - in reference to Greece. 

This week State Dept. spokesman Ned Price was pressed over the issue by a journalist. He responded that "Each country should decide for itself what it is able to prepare and provide to Ukraine. And we certainly appreciate the many ways in which the international community, including Greece, has shown its support."

On Wednesday the Biden White House signaled its desire to see other NATO countries step up and provide more for Ukraine, given Washington has already pledged some $100 billion thus far this year.

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