Politics, Russia-Ukraine War

Greece will not provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks: Premier

Kyriakos Mitsotakis says he is not worried about conflict with Türkiye

Ahmet Gencturk  | 31.01.2023 - Update : 31.01.2023
Greece will not provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks: Premier


Greece will not provide German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, the country’s premier said on Tuesday, arguing that Athens has already given Kyiv significant military support including armored personnel carriers.

“We will not provide Leopard 2 tanks for the simple reason that they are absolutely necessary for our defense posture,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Japan's Nikkei Asia news outlet.

"We've also always made it very clear that we are willing to support Ukraine but not at the expense of our defense capabilities," he added.

The US announced on Jan. 25 that it will send Abrams tanks to Ukraine, while Germany said it will supply it with Leopard 2 tanks, and also allow allies to send their German-made armored vehicles to Kyiv.

Ukraine had been pressing for the tanks for some time, along with other weapons such as long-range missiles, arguing that they are needed to fight off an expected Russian offensive this spring.

On the ongoing tensions between Athens and Ankara, Mitsotakis claimed they have something to do with Turkish elections, which are expected to be held on May 14. “I'm not worried about a possible conflict," he added.

Türkiye, a NATO member for more than 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, including arming islands near Turkish shores that are demilitarized under treaty obligations. Ankara says the moves frustrate its good-faith efforts for peace.​​​​​​​

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