February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Greece will abandon the German Marder infantry fighting vehicles in favor of Ukraine

Until the end of March, the German federal government plans to supply Ukraine with 40 Marder combat vehicles. Greece is ready to abandon them in favor of Ukraine, which could speed up the delivery of these armored vehicles to Kyiv.

According to the “ring exchange” scheme, Marder infantry fighting vehicles should arrive in Ukraine from Greece, writes Bild. Last year, it was reported that Germany would send its BMPs to Athens, and Greece would give Kyiv a Soviet-style BMP-1 in return. Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said:

“The agreement on the exchange of armored fighting vehicles from Germany to Greece and armored personnel carriers from Greece to Ukraine is being implemented normally.”

According to Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Greece delivered even more BMPs to Ukraine than the contract guaranteed: Athens received the first 14 Marders from Germany and delivered 20 BMPs to Ukraine. The minister assured:

“In January we will receive even more Marders and deliver even more BMPs.”

According to Panayiotopoulos, now Greece can even do without supplies from Germany in favor of Ukraine, since from the very beginning it took a “clear position in favor of helping the Ukrainian people.”

According to the press secretary of the German Ministry of Defense, the Bundeswehr now has about 370 Marders in service, but it is not known how many of them are suitable for combat conditions. Some of them are used only as “donors” of spare parts or for training purposes.

Without a sufficient number of these BMPs, the Bundeswehr would not have been able to fulfill its allied obligations on the eastern flank of NATO in emergency situations, especially after the more modern Puma armored vehicles failed.

On January 5, after a conversation between US and German leaders Joe Biden and Olaf Scholz, it became known that the United States plans to transfer Bradley infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, and Germany is going to transfer Marder armored vehicles. We are talking about about 40 armored personnel carriers, which should arrive in Ukraine before the end of the first quarter of 2023. In addition, Berlin promised, following the example of Washington, to provide Ukraine with a Patriot air defense battery.

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