Cyprus says its prepared to send Russian-made weapons to Ukraine following US request

Russian-made bmp-3 cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus intends to send Russian-made weapons systems to Ukraine, if they are replaced with others that will allow the maintenance of the island’s adequate defense, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

The Ministry said it does not take a direct position, but suggests that Nicosia is in favour of sending weapons to support Ukraine’s defence capability. The statement said that Cyprus was not going to reduce in anyway the deterrent defence capabilities of an occupied country.

However, the statement of the Deputy Chairman of the ruling party DISY and former Minister of Finance Haris Georgiadis is clearer, stating that the party is in favor of supporting Ukraine by all means, including the sending of equipment by as many countries as possible, countries that include Greece and European Union partners.

Referring to Greece, Georgiadis suggests that the S-300 and the TOR-M1 anti-aircraft systems owned by the Greek Armed Forces could be available.

According to Georgiadis, “it is this assistance that allows Ukraine to continue its resistance to the Russian invasion.”

“We understand, of course, that the sending of equipment by Cyprus is not possible without its replacement.

“However, if there are options for replacing even part of the equipment of the National Guard, in a way that will not undermine our deterrent capabilities, will not cause unbearable financial costs and will be in line with the political orientation of our country, they should be responsibly investigated.”

US representatives in Cyprus have asked the government whether they would be willing to transfer the country’s Russian-made weapons to Ukraine, Kathimerini Cyprus reports.

The paper adds that the request was received positively by President Nicos Anastasiades who gave the go-ahead for further discussions to be done quickly. This would mean that Cyprus will no longer remain neutral in the war, as is usually the case.

Kathimerini’s sources acknowledged that the Americans specifically asked for Cypriot anti-aircraft weapons and attack helicopters. Of particular interest are two types of anti-aircraft systems, the TOR/M1 (purchased from GR), which deploys the S-300 missile system and BUK M-2, including T-80u and BMP3 and the M 35 I helicopter.

Accordingly, if weapons from the Cypriot armed forces are to be deployed to Ukraine, they will be replaced with corresponding American weapons.

However, according to a report in the Cyprus Mail, the Cypriot Defense Ministry said it will not make any moves that would reduce the defensive deterrence of a nation under illegal occupation by turkey.

Meanwhile, at the request of the Ukrainian Embassy in Cyprus, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address the Cypriot Parliament via teleconference. Unlike in Greece, there was no objection from any party in Cyprus.

The date is expected to be announced later.

READ MORE: UKRAINE – The War, the Straits and the Alternative World Order.