WALL – While the discussions about the shipment of German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine were continuing, Greece said that they would not give the tanks to Ukraine, citing Turkey.
According to the news in DW Turkish Greek Prime Minister Kiryakos Mitsotakis, who gave an interview to media outlet Nikkei Asia during his visit to Japan, said, “We provide important military support to Ukraine, such as armored vehicles, but we will not give Leopard 2s. For a very simple reason. Because they are extremely important to our own defense strategy. We have always said: We want to support Ukraine, but not at the expense of our own defense,” he said.
MOST LEOPARDS IN EUROPE ARE IN GREECE
Greece is the country with the highest number of Leopard tanks in Europe, with 350 Leopard 2 and 500 Leopard 1 tanks. Athens had previously rejected requests to send its Russian-made S-300 missile defense systems to Ukraine, citing threats from Turkey.
In the interview, Mitsotakis also criticized Turkey’s Ukraine policy, accusing Ankara of “not participating in sanctions against Russia, benefiting greatly from special economic relations with Russia, and remaining neutral in the war”. Arguing that Turkey’s stance “created disappointment and unease among many NATO members,” the Greek Prime Minister said, “If you are a member of an alliance like NATO, which is also an alliance of values, you cannot remain neutral.”
‘I DON’T Worry About the Possibility of Conflict’
Referring to the tensions between Turkey and Greece, Kiryakos Mitsotakis continued his words as follows:
“I am not worried about the possibility of a conflict with Turkey. But what I am concerned about is that Turkish foreign policy has become more revisionist and more aggressive over the past few years. I think it is inappropriate that this coincides with a period when we are dealing with violations of international law in Ukraine.”
Kiryakos Mitsotakis said, “Most of what you see and hear on the Turkish side is pre-election rhetoric. But I am worried that all this warmongering will poison the Turkish public opinion.” (NEWS CENTER)