Greece to buy French warships in multibillion-euro defence deal: All you need to know
France and Greece, with a multibillion-euro defence deal, have taken a first bold step towards European Strategic autonomy which has paved a way towards Europe that will be able to defend its interest in the wider region, in the Middle East and in the eastern Mediterranean.
France and Greece on September 28, 2021, announced a multi-billion-euro defence deal. It also included Greece’s decision of buying three French warships as part of a strategy to boost its defence capacities in the Eastern Mediterranean amid the recurring tensions with the longtime foe Turkey.
The President of France Emmanuel Macron and the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis jointly announced a defence and security partnership at a news conference in Paris.
President Macron while informing about the partnership said that it expresses the will of both the countries to increase and intensify their cooperation in the defence and security sector based on their mutual interests. He further added that it will protect the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of both states.
The further details of the deal were not immediately disclosed by Marcon and Matsotakis, however, a top French official reportedly said that the deal was worth several billion euros.
Defence deal between France and Greece
• Athens has announced that it will purchase three French frigates to be built by the defence contractor Naval Group in Lorient, in Western France.
• The multi-billion-euro defence deal between Greece and France also includes an option for an acquisition of a fourth frigate.
• According to the Prime Minister of Greece Mitsotakis, the deal comes out of national motivation to shield the country, however, it also has a European motive as it will strengthen the common defence industry.
Multibillion-euro defence deal between two European nations: What it means?
France and Greece have taken a first bold step towards European Strategic autonomy which has paved a way towards Europe that will be able to defend its interest in the wider region, in the Middle East and in the eastern Mediterranean.
Greece has already bought 18 French Rafale Fighter jets and has also planned to purchase another six under a program in order to modernize its armed forces.
The announcement by both the nations has also come at a key time for France after it lost a USD 66 billion deal to sell the diesel-electric submarines to Australia, which has instead chosen to acquire nuclear-powered submarines provided by the United States.
#UPDATE The deal for the three frigates was inked less than two weeks after France was left reeling by the cancellation by Australia of a contract to buy French submarines as part of a new defence pact with Britain and the UShttps://t.co/tgO83FKI39— AFP News Agency (@AFP) September 28, 2021
The recent three-way strategic defence alliance announced by the UK, Australia and the Ushas also come as a shock to the French officials.
Tensions between Greece and Turkey
Tensions between Greece and its historic regional rival have increased in recent years. The reason for the rising tensions has been the gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean region as well as the waters between the two nations.
Greece and Turkey have been at loggerheads for decades over a long series of issues, including maritime and aviation boundaries, territorial rights in the Aegean Sea as well as minority rights.