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Greece, France sign “strategic partnership” deal accompanied by 3+1 Belharra frigates

Greece and France signed a major defense deal and a strategic partnership deal on Tuesday morning. In the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the French and Greek foreign and defense ministers signed the deal of 3+1 Belharra frigates estimated to be worth 5 billion euros, as French media report.

Besides frigates, a key clause of the Greek-French military pact commits both parties to back each other “using all the means necessary at their disposal, including, if needed, the use of armed violence” in the event of an attack on their soil.

Αυτές είναι οι «αόρατες» φρεγάτες FREMM που παίρνει η Ελλάδα - Γιατί τις  φοβούνται οι Τούρκοι

Under Tuesday’s agreement Athens agreed to buy three frigates with an option to buy a fourth for about 3 billion euros, a Greek government source told Reuters.

The three French frigates will be build by Naval Group in Lorient, in western France. Delivery date is between 2025 and 2026.

Citing sources form the Greek Navy, military affairs website militaire.gr notes that the French are committed to deliver 2 Belharra in 2025.

The accord, part of a broader strategic military and defense cooperation pact, comes after Athens had already ordered 18 Dassault-made Rafale fighter jets this year, making it the first European Union country to buy the fighter jet. Two weeks ago, Mitsotakis announced to buy another 6 Rafale.

The frigates will also be compatible with the Rafale jets.

“This will tie us for decades,” Mitsotakis said. “This opens the door to the Europe of tomorrow that is strong and autonomous, capable of defending its interests,” he added.

Greece will buy three frigates from France as part of a deeper “strategic partnership” between the two countries to defend shared interests in the Mediterranean, Macron said at a signing ceremony.

When asked whether this deal risked raising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, Macron said the accord did not target a country specifically, but Greece, as the outer border of the European Union needed to be protected.

“I don’t get the feeling that in the summer of 2020 it was Greece that was bellicose in the eastern Mediterranean,” Macron said, alluding to Turkish actions in the region.

“As Europeans it is our duty to show solidarity with members states. It is legitimate that we commit to equipping it so it can ensure its territorial integrity is respected and that we commit to cooperating to protect it in case of intrusions, attacks or aggressions,” he said

Europe needs to stop being naive when it comes to defending its interests and build its own military capacity, he added.

French defense and foreign ministers Florence Parly and Jean-Yves Le Drian, and Greek counterparts Nikos Panagiotopoulos and Nikos Dendias sign the deal.

Meanwhile, Greek media wonder why the planned deal for 3 corvettes Gowind was not announced as well.

sources: AFP, Reuters, AP, Bloomberg, Greek media

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6 comments

  1. It seems strange to me that in the light of a floundering economy over the last two years that Greece reaches out to France with a massive military purchase! Where is this money coming from? and could there be just a hint of (I can’t think of the right word but it’s when you put your thumb on your nose and wiggle yours fingers) to the Yanks, Brits and Aussies for trashing the French agreement to supply subs!

    • according to the GR gov’t economy has growth.

    • You seem strange and suspect to us when protesting and mocking Greece’s expenditure.

      Your antagonistic analogy of “wiggling fingers” is also breathtakingly challenged. Greece is lucky to have adversaries like you; some call it Darwinism.

  2. This announcement has immense significance for the Greek people. Any potential advisary realized that if you attack Greece, France will also be there in a significant way. In the past, at a time of stress, they have sent their aircraft carrier (the biggest in the world and more firepower on it than most countries have) to provide an impressive demonstration of this. Viva la France.

  3. France, along always maintained a “special relationship” with Greece respecting shared values. The US is also inking security deals from Souda to Alexandroupolis.

    Unfortunately, Cyprus was not treated like Kuwait. Today’s Turkey is a defiant and unlawful expansionist pirate, an unreliable NATO member who buys arms from NATO’s adversary. This theocratic and nationalistic dictator jails judges and journalists, he is an embezzler living like a sultan, unhinged and uneducated with bellicose rhetoric dangerously destabilizing peaceful region. How can anyone neglect his shameless criminal affiliations with Hamas and the Muslim brotherhood, etc. It is endless. How can this unlawfulness be ignored?

    Free nations should also question why Germany is selling submarines against a European frontier that it is suppose to lead, after already trying to destroy it twice. Even the US should stop acting like a spurned husband refusing to divorce his wildly cheating wife Turkey. Even Russia is more trustworthy than these two historic partners in genocide that do not deserve their economic power any more than building anything military.

    The world is a confusing and dangerous place when self interest violates principle, after so many hard lessons learned, lest we forget.

  4. France will become more active in Europe now it was stabbed in the back by the Anglo-Americans and the Australians. France has been for a while -and now even more- talking about Europe working together on security and the military. Also, the blueprint for a European army lay in art.40+ of the Lisbon Treaty.
    France will make transatlantic cooperation more difficult. They already blew up the free trade agreement with the US over agricultural concerns and they will do this again with the upcoming new free trade talks and talks about sharing security and data on European citizens with the US (a no-go as far as I am concerned).

    Greece is now talking to the US about increased military cooperation with the US to counter Turkey. Be careful what you wish for, I would say. Don’t forget how they screwed their allies in Afghanistan and the cluster f*ck they caused in the Middle East.