10:46 GMT10 July 2020
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    Recently, the "Defence One" website, which belongs to the Atlantic Media Group, revealed that the US State Department is running a project called "The European Recapitalisation Incentive Programme" that aims to deliver US military equipment to five Balkan countries and one Central European state (Slovakia).

    Greece is among those countries, and it's reported to receive $25 million as an investment incentive for the purchase of US arms and the rejection of Russian or Chinese weapons. Both the timing and the content of the publication seem to be particularly significant, given the "tense" relations between the US and Turkey. 

    Christodoulos Yialouridis, professor of international politics at Panteion University, points out that the budget of $25 million is "not a serious amount", adding that this money is not enough to meet Greece's military needs. According to the expert, it's possible that Washington's ultimate goal may might not be the financial support for Athens, but "sending specific messages to specific recipients".

    "I'd say we shouldn't pay particular attention to the possibility of getting those $25 million," Mr. Yialouridis says.

    He believes that the hidden message of the publication is that "Washington currently supports Athens. That is, the US wants to show that Americans are leaning more towards Athens and less towards Ankara".

    Moreover, according to Professor Yialouridis, given the escalation of tensions between Washington and Ankara, the publication is not accidental, as it is about US strategic interests in the Eastern Mediterranean region. In other words, the publication is a message sent to a real recipient — Turkey, which currently has issues with the US regarding the supply Russian S-400s.

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    At the same time, they are showing their support for Greece, the professor says. "In this dispute with Ankara, Washington "is putting Greece forward as a wedge" or as a lever to make President Erdogan stop "flirting" with Moscow and take a position that is in line with NATO's objectives in the Eastern Mediterranean region," he says.

    "Since the Second World War, the United States has been a country that uses or exploits — depending on the perspective — the position and role of Greece in order to display it as a loyal ally and as a follower of Washington's directives," Yialouridis concludes.

    "No Benefit to Greece"

    Retired Lieutenant General of the Greek Air Force Pavlos Christus agrees with Professor Yialouridis and considers it inconceivable "to buy US military systems to prevent the supply of equivalent systems from other countries".

    At the same time, he warns that "the accumulation of weapons systems in Greece is unlikely to provide greater security". And the reason is simple: "You shouldn't play with only one player, because that way you become absolutely dependent on them".

    Therefore, Mr. Pavlos Christus is opposed to Greece's accession to the European Recapitalisation Incentive Programme, considering that it will be of no benefit to the Greek side. "Such a development is not in our favour," he repeats. In this context, he believes it's necessary to achieve pluralism in the supply of military equipment, inviting Greece to turn to other directions, such as the European and Russian defence industries.

    Moreover, according to him, "the issue of the defence systems supply is also related to the evolution of the Greek defence industry".

    "Without it, we are forced to be dependent on foreign suppliers, not produce anything and pay too much for the supply of defence systems", the retired lieutenant general concludes.

    *Views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    defence, S-400, military, weapons, Balkans, Turkey, United States, Greece
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