Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 65

Greek Defense Minister Apostolos Tsochatzopolous concluded his three-day visit to Russia yesterday with a declaration that political and military cooperation between the two countries had reached a high level. According to Tsochatzopolous, the two countries share views on security in the Balkans, the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea region. As was the case during the previous two days of his visit, during which he met with President Boris Yeltsin and Acting Defense Minister Igor Sergeev, Tsochatzopolous appeared to emphasize possible military-technical cooperation between the two countries. But while Tsochatzopolous seemed to indicate definite interest in Russian-made air defense systems, and particularly in S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, he was less specific with regard to other Russian weaponry that might be of interest to Athens. (Itar-Tass, April 2)

Tsochatzopolous’ remarks were undoubtedly listened to closely in Russia, not least because Greece is about to embark on a five-year military modernization program. At least one Russian newspaper warned that Moscow should not get its hopes too high with regard to arms exports to Greece. Novye izvestia said on April 1 that — for political reasons — Greece is likely to balance its weapons purchases between Europe, the United States and Russia. The newspaper also suggested, as other Russian sources have done, that Athens is likely even to split its purchases of anti-aircraft missile complexes, buying both the Russia S-300s and U.S.-made Patriot missiles. (Novye izvestia, April 1)

Protest Over Election Annulment in Nizhny Novgorod.