Greece to send tanks to Ukraine under German deal 

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Under the ‘Ringtausch Scheme’, countries like Greece that still have Soviet-era gear like the BMP infantry fighting vehicle can send them to Ukraine and will receive more modern German tanks as replacements.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz told reporters at the end of a two-day European Council meeting of EU leaders in Brussels that he had spoken directly with Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis to enable the tank swap.

“This will now be discussed in very concrete terms between the defence ministries [of both countries] and can then also be implemented quickly,” the German Chancellor said.

Germany has already implemented a similar agreement with the Czech Republic. 

The Ringtausch Scheme will allow Greece and other Western nations to maintain a certain level of deniability because their Soviet-era tanks are identical to the ones Ukraine uses, meaning it’s harder for Russia to argue that NATO is getting involved in the war by sending its top gear to Kyiv.

In a press release, the Greek defence ministry said it would send BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine and receive “an equal number” of German Marder infantry fighting vehicles in exchange.

German officials have argued the tank swap is advantageous because Ukraine will receive identical tank models its soldiers and mechanics are familiar with, while NATO partners like Greece can upgrade their military gear. 

Greece’s main opposition party, Syriza, quickly criticised the government over the deal.

“The government must stop making decisions in secret on critical national issues,” Syriza said in a statement. 

“Even more so when the majority of the Greek people are opposed to choices that pose risks to the country’s security and are contrary to our national interests.”

According to government sources quoted by the AMNA, Mitsotakis also presented Scholz with the details of recent Turkish violations of Greece’s national airspace and an unauthorised flight over the northeastern Greek mainland.

Mitsotakis asked for Berlin’s support against Turkish delinquency, saying the provocations undermine stability in the Mediterranean.

Source: Politico 

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