Greece Ends Weapons Shipments to Ukraine, Cites Need for Own Defence

Ukrainians living in Greece gather outside the Greek Parliament and listen to Ukraine Pres

Greece’s Defence Minister has announced that the country, often menaced by Turkey, will no longer be shipping weapons to Ukraine, as it requires arms for its own defence needs.

Greece’s Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos stated this week that Greece has no further plans to send military equipment to Ukraine and argued that further shipments could weaken Greece’s ability to defend its own interests, particularly regarding islands in the Aegean Sea.

“The defence equipment we sent to Ukraine came from our stocks. There is no issue of sending more,” Panagiotopoulos told members of the Greek parliament, the news website Euractiv reports.

The ongoing tensions between Greece and Turkey remains a major issue, and frequent violations of Greek airspace by Turkish warplanes have continued through the Ukraine conflict. Tukey has even accused Greece of wanting to use the Ukraine conflict to attack Turkey itself — despite the European country having a population many times smaller than that of its Muslim-majority neighbour.

“Certain [Greek] politicians continue their anti-Turkish rhetoric, distorting in a deliberate and aggressive manner incidents and events … escalating tensions,” Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said last month, adding, “They even use developments in Ukraine in order to attack Turkey.”

While the Greek government has supported Ukraine and the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the government’s policy of sending weapons has not been met with enthusiasm by a majority of Greeks.

A poll conducted last month by Greek broadcaster MEGA TV found that 66 per cent of Greeks were against sending military hardware to Ukraine and only 29 per cent approved of the government’s actions, despite 70 per cent of Greeks supporting Ukraine in the conflict.

Historically, the Greek people have been well-disposed to Russia, in part because of their shared Orthodox Christian faith and Moscow’s historic support for Greeks under Turkish occupation.


Earlier this month, controversy broke out following a speech by President Zelensky to the Greek parliament as a man linked to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion appeared on a video during the Ukrainian president’s address.

Greek opposition parties expressed outrage that the man, who is said to be ethnically Greek, was allowed to address the parliament.

“Solidarity with the Ukrainian people is a given. But the Nazis can not have a say in parliament,” insisted Alexis Tsipras, former prime minister and leader of the leftist Syriza party, calling the appearance of the man a provocation.

A Greek government official later released a statement calling the appearance of the Azov Battalion member “mistaken and inappropriate.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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