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Greece negotiates deal with Czechia for ammunition transfer to Ukraine

Through a deal with the Czech Republic, Greece will supply Ukraine with 2,000 Zuni rockets, 180 anti-tank rockets, 90,000 projectiles, 4 million bullets, and 70 howitzers without depleting its own stocks, according to Greek media.
Flags of Greece and Ukraine. Illustrative photo
Greece negotiates deal with Czechia for ammunition transfer to Ukraine

Greece has announced its intention to continue providing military aid to Ukraine without depleting its own stocks this year to assist in its defense against the Russian invasion, according to Ekathimerini. Prices for a deal are currently being negotiated with the Czech Republic that will facilitate the transfer of much-needed ammunition and artillery systems directly to Ukrainian forces.

While modernizing its army, Greece has provided a variety of older weapons systems to Ukraine’s military aid, including BMP-1A1 infantry fighting vehicles, RPG-18s grenade launchers, Kalashnikov rifles, and 122mm rocket artillery rounds. Additionally, Greece is contributing to the training of Ukrainian military personnel, including pilots for F-16 jet fighters, Special Forces, and Leopard 2 MBT troops.

According to Greek officials, among the supplies Ukraine requires most urgently are rockets, projectiles, bullets, and howitzers. The planned delivery will include 2,000 5-inch Zuni rockets, 180 2.75-inch anti-tank rockets that have proved effective against Russian armor, 90,000 90mm projectiles used for anti-tank and anti-aircraft purposes, 4 million bullets, and 70 US-maid M114A1 howitzers from Greek army stocks, as per Ekathimerini.

“The latter do come from Hellenic Army stock, but have long been considered unnecessary for its operational needs. They are, however, seen as useful in Ukraine’s standoff battles in muddy terrain. This is the second batch of M114A1s that Greece will sell to the Czech Republic in order to have them transferred to Ukraine,” Ekathimerini says.

This is not the first time Greece has contributed to Ukraine’s military efforts. It has previously sent 40 Soviet-era BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles in exchange for 40 more modern German Marder IFVs. Anti-aircraft missile launchers have also been provided. Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias will attend an upcoming Ramstein-format meeting in Germany of countries donating arms to Ukraine on 19 March.

While willing to assist Ukraine, Greece has stated it needs to replace aging anti-aircraft systems like the S-300 with more modern Western alternatives, regardless of whether the S-300s are transferred to Kyiv. Replacing all short-range and vulnerable anti-aircraft weapons on the Greek mainland and islands with Israeli systems is also a priority, Ekathimerini notes.

Greece’s support

On 5 March, a Russian missile struck the Odesa port, killing five and injuring others, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis met there. Mitsotakis said all European states should unite and provide stable assistance to Ukraine during a visit to Odesa.

In January, US State Secretary Antony Blinken notified the Greek PM of proposed arms F-35 sales, paired with various items of military aid, including up to $200 million in extra US military financing for Greece to enable Greek arms provisions to Ukraine. Later, Greek PM Mitsotakis had a telephone conversation with President Zelenskyy, two days after the US arms transfer offer.

Last August, Greece became the 14th country to join the G7 declaration providing security guarantees to Ukraine and joined the so-called F-16 coalition to participate in the training of Ukrainian F-16 pilots.

In July 2022, Russia added Greece to its list of “unfriendly nations” alongside Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia, and Slovakia, bringing the total to 48 countries, including Ukraine and the United States, allegedly due to actions against Russia’s diplomatic missions abroad.

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