A US retired general has advised Ukraine on Monday to ask Greece, Bulgaria and Slovakia to offer their Russian S300 surface-to-air-missile systems to help defend the country against the Russian invasion.
Speaking on Fox News, Keith Kellogg, formerly the national security advisor to Vice President Mike Pence, remarked that if the West won’t let Ukraine have additional MiG fighter jets to fend off Russian attackers, they should seek projectile-based help from certain NATO-member countries.
The general said two Balkan countries, Greece and Bulgaria, along with fellow NATO member Slovakia, all have S300 missile technology that itself was originally designed by Moscow.
Ukraine could use a Russian system to shoot down Russian aircraft
“The thing they should do is go to Bulgaria, Slovakia and Greece, which are three NATO nations, and they’ve got a system called the S300, which is a Russian system that shoots down ballistic missiles and anti-aircraft (projectiles) as well, and put it around those point-targets and defend it,” he said.
Kellogg said the S300 has the “slant range” to accurately strike up to eight targets at a distance between Richmond and Washington, DC, a straight line of about 105 miles.
“It’d be kind of nice to have a Russian system shoot down a Russian aircraft,” he commented.
Greece’s S300 system
Greece’s S-300 surface-to-air-missile (SAM) system is based on Crete. To date, Greece has conducted several tests on the system, including live-fire exercises. More importantly, the Greek military held those drills at the NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI).
NAMFI is a missile test facility located on the island of Crete. With roots going back to the 1960s, NAMFI has always had “unbreakable ties” with the Transatlantic Alliance.
The system was transferred from Cyprus after the island’s controversial decision in 1997 to install two Russian-made S300 air-defense missile sites on its territory, provoking Turkey into threatening an attack or even all-out war if the missiles were not returned to Russia.
The missile deal with Russia represented the Cyprus government’s first serious attempt at building a credible air defense system after all the years of Turkish superiority in the air.
The crisis effectively ended in December 1998 with the decision of the Cypriot government to transfer the S300s to Greece’s Hellenic Air Force in exchange for alternative weapons from Greece.
Greece sends military aid to Ukraine
In late February, just days after the Russian invasion, Greece dispatched military aid to help Ukraine.
The government announced that it sent to Poland two C-130 transport aircraft loaded with military aid, including portable rocket launchers, ammunition, and Kalashnikov rifles.
A separate shipment of humanitarian aid was also sent the same day, accompanied by deputy Defense Minister Nikos Hardalias.
The decision followed the Russian advance in Ukraine and the killing of at least 10 ethnic Greeks near the city of Mariupol by Russian fire.