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NATO member Greece tests Russian missiles

December 13, 2013

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — NATO member Greece says it has successfully tested a Russian made S300 surface-to-air missile system during a military exercise on the island of Crete, for the first time since the system was acquired 14 years ago.

Greece bought the missiles in the late 1990s to defuse a crisis between Turkey and war-divided Cyprus, where the internationally recognized ethnic Greek government had initially ordered the missiles and eventually conceded them to the government in Athens.

Delays in the Greek test have been blamed on difficulties in integrating a non-NATO system in Greece’s defenses and more recently on drastic public spending cuts imposed because of the financial crisis.

Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and the country’s military leadership were present at Friday’s test.

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