Defense Minister: Greece will increase arms purchases

Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos explained Greece’s decision to further strengthen its defensive capabilities.

In an interview with the Sunday edition Kathimerini he said that “decisions can be expected on new corvettes, the acquisition of new guided missiles from Israel and the upgrade of F-16 fighters to the Block 50 version, as well as additional purchases of German Leopard tanks.”

He also said that relations with France and the United States are strengthening. According to the minister, the United States is interested in including the country in the next-generation F-35 fighter program, and Greece has asked the United States to consider supplying it with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and weapons of “high operational value.”

Nikos Panagiotopoulos also announced closer cooperation with France and the visit of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the port of Piraeus at the end of March. Referring to the decision to send defense equipment to Ukraine, the minister stressed that there is no time for “yes and nos” when a European war is raging. He also believes that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will affect relations between Greece and Turkey, but this does not necessarily mean an aggravation of the situation, stressing that Greece is a member of NATO and the European Union.

Full interview with Katimerini here.

According to the publication Forbesin the financial markets, US defense stocks are showing superiority, and Wall Street analysts believe that they will continue to rise.

The iShares US Aerospace & Defense ETF, the largest of its kind with 33 stocks, has risen more than 5% since Russian troops invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. During this time, defense stocks rose significantly, with Raytheon Technologies up nearly 8%, General Dynamics up 12%, Huntington Ingalls Industries up 14%, Lockheed Martin up 18% and Northrop Grumman up 22%.

In monetary terms, the growth in the value of shares is expressed in hundreds of billions of US dollars.

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