In a significant move, US representatives in Cyprus have asked the government whether they would be willing to transfer the country’s Russian-made weapons to Ukraine.
The request was received positively by President Nicos Anastasiades who gave the go-ahead for further discussions to be done quickly. This would mean that Cyprus will no longer remain neutral in the war, as is usually the case.
According to a New York Times report from last Friday, the Biden administration asked its allies, countries that were former members of the USSR, to help transfer Soviet-made tanks from its own arsenals, which Ukrainian troops know how to use. It marks the first time in the war that the United States has helped transfer tanks.
Kathimerini’s sources stated that the Americans specifically asked for Cypriot anti-aircraft weapons as well as attack helicopters. Of particular interest are two types of anti-aircraft systems, the TOR/M1 (purchased from GR) which deploys the S-300 missile system and BUK M-2, including T-80u and BMP3 as well as the MI-35 helicopter.
Consequently, if weapons from the Cypriot armed forces are to be deployed to Ukraine they will be replaced with corresponding American weaponry. [Kathimerini Cyprus]