MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Moscow views Greece’s intentions to start supplying the Kiev regime with S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems and other Russian or Soviet-type air defense systems as hostile to Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.
"The authorities of Greece have recently intensified their statements about their readiness to supply Ukraine with S-300 PMU1 air defense systems on the condition that they receive an additional number of US Patriot air defense missile systems to replace them," Zakharova said.
"We view the provocative plans on the delivery of S-300 air-defense systems and its other modifications produced in the Soviet Union or Russia as an openly hostile move aimed against Russia," she stated.
According to Zakharova, the Greek authorities are unaware that by sending weapons to the war zone "they become direct accomplices of Ukrainian neo-Nazis," which wage "a criminal war against the civilian population of Donbass, the Regions of Zaporozhye and Kherson, including many ethnic Greeks living there."
"We also witness a complete indifference on behalf of the Greek side to the norms of the international arms trade, prohibiting its export to regions where it can end up violating international humanitarian law and provide for the escalation of conflicts," she said.
S-300 air defense systems are still operational in about 20 countries across the world, including CIS states and European countries such as: Slovakia, Ukraine, Cyprus, Greece, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Belarus, Armenia, Abkhazia and Azerbaijan. According to open sources, Croatia also possesses some amount of S-300P surface-to-air missile systems while Ukraine mostly operates S-300PS and S-300PT modifications.
Russia’s special military operation
On February 21, President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow was recognizing the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Russia signed agreements on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance with their leaders. Moscow recognized the Donbass republics in accordance with the DPR and LPR constitutions within the boundaries of the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions as of the beginning of 2014.
Russian President Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance, he had decided to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. The DPR and the LPR launched an operation to liberate their territories under Kiev’s control.
From September 23 to September 27, the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic as well as the Kherson Region and the Zaporozhye Region held a referendum where the majority of voters opted to join Russia.
On September 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the heads of the DPR, the LPR, and the Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions signed treaties on their accession to Russia. Later, the State Duma and the Federation Council (the lower and upper houses of Russia’s parliament) approved legislation on ratifying these treaties, as well as federal constitutional laws on the accession of the four regions to Russia.