Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed Greece’s clear refusal to the possibility of sending Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine during a dinner in honor of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Athens on Monday evening.
The issue was raised during the dinner which was also attended by Karen Donfried, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Celeste Wallander, and US Ambassador to Athens George Tsounis in the context of the discussion on the further strengthening of Ukraine with weapons systems.
Athens emphasized that it would be impossible for Greece to permit the development of a defense system gap without making prompt replacement arrangements.
Aside from its political connotations, the S-300 issue would complicate matters by, for example, triggering the clause that links all weapons systems with an end user license agreement, which might have extremely detrimental effects.
Whatever the case, Athens wants to work with the US to decommission Russian weaponry.
Also, both sides are preparing for a program to widely replace Russian weapons with US weapons.
Greece made it clear that it can contribute in different ways.
For his part, Blinken thanked Greece again after his 20-minute one-on-one with his counterpart Nikos Dendias and before the 4th Strategic Dialogue, for its assistance in Ukraine and described Alexandroupoli as a strategic hub through which, among other things, defensive weapons, trucks, artillery for the units of the US Army and NATO allies operating in Eastern and Northern Europe can be transported.
Furthermore, Blinken also noted the investments made to upgrade the infrastructure of the port of Alexandroupoli, adding that “we have made similar investments in other parts of Greece, including $123 million in infrastructure improvements in Souda and Larissa.”