DEFYING NATO: Greece and Russia Discuss Increased Cooperation in Defense Sector

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ATHENS, Greece – The Greek Ministry of Defense said on Monday that Greece and Russia discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation in the defense industry during a session of the 14th Greco-Russian Defense Industry Cooperation Commission.

“The meeting was held as part of the encouragement of cooperation between the defense industry between the two countries,” the statement said.

The Greek delegation was headed by the head of the General Directorate of Defense and Armaments Investments of the Ministry of Defense, Deputy Vice Admiral Kyriakos Kyriakidis. Already the Russian delegation was led by the director of the Russian Federal Service of Technical-Military Cooperation, Dmitry Shugaev.

More details on the talks have yet to be released.

Russia and Greece have been developing cooperation in the defense industry for years. Despite Athens’ accession to NATO, the Greek army continues to use a series of weapons produced in Russia.

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Meanwhile, days ago Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that the second six months of this year were not simple for bilateral relations between Athens and Moscow due to a diplomatic crisis sparked by the expulsion of Russian diplomats from Greece that led to the temporary hiatus in bilateral dialogue.

Lavrov argued the worsening of relations was against the interests of both Moscow and Athens. Moscow considers Tsipras’ visit to Russia very timely and important, according to Lavrov.

“We are convinced that there are no barriers to the gradual development of Russian-Greek relations,” Lavrov pointed out.

Russia considers Greece an important partner in ensuring peace and stability in Europe, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans, according to Lavrov.

Earlier this summer, Athens expelled two Russian diplomats and imposed a travel ban on two more, accusing them of meddling in security issues and attempting to bribe Greek officials.

Explaining the decision over the Russian diplomats, Athens stated they intended to thwart a deal between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Greece, which would allow the Slavic country to join NATO.

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