In a highly symbolic move, the Greek flag is flying again today in Kyiv as the Greek embassy reopened its doors in the Ukrainian capital, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias announced in a statement after meeting with Kenyan Foreign Minister Raychelle Omamo.
Manolis Androulakis, the last diplomat to leave the Greek-founded city of Mariupol, was appointed head of the Greek embassy in Kiev, the Greek foreign minister also announced.
At the same time, he sent the message that Greece, through its embassy in Kiev and the consulate in Odessa, is next to the Greek community, but also next to the Ukrainian people.
It is recalled that the Greek embassy was closed on February 25, one day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
Meanwhile, Greece would be willing to send BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine if their immediate replacement is ensured by personnel and combat vehicles of similar capabilities.
In addition to BMP-1s, there are also requests either directly from Ukraine or from intermediaries such as the US and Germany for other systems, such as Harpoon anti-ship missiles, which the Hellenic Navy has.
The pressure to grant BMP-1s to Ukraine is coming primarily from Berlin. Competent sources have stated that the German Army has solutions that could be used as intermediaries until it becomes possible to permanently reinforce the Greek military with reliable personnel transport units.
While the possibility of conceding BMP-1s, under the above-mentioned conditions, is under discussion, Athens is not discussing the other systems, especially the Harpoon anti-ship missiles.
At the same time, extensive discussions are taking place at the Defense Ministry about how the Hellenic Navy and the Armed Forces in general could expand their arsenal with more missile systems, which due to the geographical characteristics of the Aegean Sea would add a stronger deterrence than costly investments such as the one Ankara made building the Anadolu carrier.
Ukraine, however, already has much more economical and quite reliable domestic anti-ship missiles, like the Neptune, which gained international fame for the sinking of the Moskva ship, the flagship of the Russian fleet, in the Black Sea.
However, the changing nature of the war in Ukraine and increasing naval pressure on the wider region from Mykolaiv to the outskirts of Odessa and the Danube estuary have increased defensive needs, as the region is also Kyiv’s last access to the Black Sea.