Defense deal moving ahead without asterisks

Defense deal moving ahead without asterisks

The agreement between Greece and Germany for the cyclical exchange of a total of 40 Marder armored combat vehicles and an equal number of Hellenic Army BMP-1s, which are being transferred to Ukraine, is in full force, according to Defense Ministry sources, speaking to Kathimerini.

Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and his German counterpart Christine Lambrecht spoke by telephone on Monday evening about the progress of the agreement between Athens and Berlin.

The clarifications were made by sources at the Ministry of National Defense, following Berlin’s decision to send Marder armored combat vehicles directly to Ukraine. So far, a total of 20 Greek BMP-1s have been delivered to Ukraine, while a total of 14 Marder vehicles have joined the Hellenic Armed Forces, specifically units in Thrace. The remaining six are expected by the end of January.

The procedures for the cyclical exchange of the remaining 20 will begin shortly afterward. Minor delays are expected in the delivery of the Marders. The Greek BMP-1s are expected to depart for Ukraine first, and the Marders from Germany to Greece will follow at a slight delay.

The process is expected to be completed in the spring, though a definitive timetable is not clear. In any case, the military liaisons for coordination between Athens and Berlin on the issue of cyclical exchange are still active and will remain so until the process is completed.

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