France and Greece will work together more closely in the defense and security sector. President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis signed an agreement in Paris to buy three French frigates as part of a “strategic partnership”. Macron and Mitsotakis emphasized at a joint press conference that this partnership also paves the way for a more independent foreign policy in the European Union.
Macron said that Europe should not be naive when it comes to defending its interests, and that it should build its own military capabilities. At the same time, he stressed that this is not a substitute for an alliance with the United States.
Now French President Macron (right) can laugh again – here with Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis in Paris
The three Belharra frigates ordered by Athens will be built by Naval Group in Lorient, in western France. A fourth is provided as an option in the contract. The turnover of the business is not less than three billion euros. The German company TKMS and the American company Lockheed Martin participated in the warship tender.
France helps Greece in the conflict with Turkey
The frigate’s actions relate to the gas dispute between Greece and Turkey, a NATO partner in the eastern Mediterranean. France increased its naval presence there last year to help the government in Athens. In the summer of 2020, Greece and Turkey were on the brink of military conflict over disputes over suspected huge natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. Since then, Athens has already ordered 24 Rafale bombers from France.
The agreement between the two countries comes about two weeks after the announcement of a new “security alliance” between the United States, Great Britain and Australia in the Indo-Pacific region. As part of this, Australia will build nuclear-powered submarines using technology from the two partners. To France’s alarm, the $40 billion deal approved in 2016 to deliver conventional submarines to the government in Canberra failed.
se / sti (afp, rtr, ap, dpa)
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