Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos confirmed in the Parliament that our country is ready to send armored vehicles to Ukraine, while “in return” it began to receive armored vehicles from Germany, answering a topical question from the SYRIZA MP, George Tsipras, who spoke of a deficit information about the agreement to support Ukraine with defense material and about the risk of undermining Greece’s defense power.
The Minister of Defense assured that “in no way will the defense arrangement of the country be weakened, neither on the islands nor in any part of its territory” and continued:
“The deal is: we give the Ukrainians 40 armored vehicles, because they are familiar with these vehicles and therefore could use them immediately, even though they are old and problematic material and it is difficult to maintain them and support them with spare parts and replacing the ones we would give to Ukraine with the German armored fighting vehicles which, although not the latest technology, are much better and more modern than what we were giving.
“So as far as the overall capabilities are concerned, we consider that it was a beneficial agreement for our country, since in essence it gave a certain type of equipment and replaced it with a better type of equipment.
“On September 16, 2022, we signed with the corresponding Ministry of Defense of Germany, a relevant memorandum of understanding through which the donation by the Germans to us of 40 armored vehicles was validated.
“Similarly, two weeks ago we signed a corresponding memorandum of understanding with the Ukrainians which confirms our intention to donate the 40 armored vehicles.
“As far as the memorandum with the Germans is concerned, in addition to their donation to us of 40 armored vehicles, it also includes a donation of 20mm ammunition and the spare parts for them, as well as the question of their free transportation to our country.
“So we are not burdened with anything in terms of costs, while provision of free training is provided for the Greek staff and their gradual receipt in a functional operational state”.
As Mr. Panagiotopoulos said, “the first 10 armored vehicles are on their way, they have started to be transported and will arrive in our country around October 21, they will be in perfect condition after being checked by an inspection team of the Army and immediately the training stage will begin crews from German trainers and it will take about a month while the next 10 are expected to arrive around the end of November.”
“Their deployment in Units of the Armed Forces so that they become operational and active has been designed by the GHETHA and the relevant military staffs so that there will not be the slightest gap,” he noted.
He also added that “the reception of the first 20 armored personnel carriers that will go to Ukraine has been formally done, but their transport is a matter of days to be arranged and it is the responsibility of the Ukrainian side both the transport and the cost”.
Finally, speaking to the parliamentary editors and commenting on the statements of his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, about restarting the discussion of Confidence Building Measures between Greece and Turkey, he made it clear that “As long as there is a threat of territorial sovereignty, any attempt at communication is futile.”