Greece to buy three frigates from France – Times of India

PARIS: Greece will buy three frigates from France as half of a deeper “strategic partnership” between the 2 nations to defend their shared pursuits within the Mediterranean, French President Emmanuel Macron stated Tuesday.
The deal marks “an audacious first step towards European strategic autonomy”, Macron stated at a signing ceremony with Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the Elysee Palace.
He referred to as Athens’ choice to buy the Belharra ships “a sign of confidence” in France’s defence industry, in opposition to competitors notably from the American group Lockheed Martin, in accordance to press studies.
The deal additionally sends a sign from Paris after its stinging loss of a multibillion-euro contract for submarines with Australia, which introduced it could as a substitute signal a deal for nuclear-powered subs from the US.
Macron has lengthy insisted that Europe wants to develop its personal defence capabilities and not be so reliant on the United States.
“Today is a historic day for Greece and France. We have decided to upgrade our bilateral defensive cooperation,” Mitsotakis stated.
He stated the settlement includes “mutual support” and “joint action at all levels,” although no monetary particulars of the contract got.
Mitsotakis added that the French deal would haven’t have an effect on a defence cooperation settlement underneath dialogue between Greece and the US, regardless of the tensions sparked between the EU and Washington after the Australia submarines row.
The settlement is “not antagonistic” to the Greek-US relationship, he stated, citing how “France stood by us during difficult times in the summer of 2020”, a reference to Turkey’s problem of Greek territorial rights within the Aegean Sea.
Macron additionally vowed that the US-Australia pact wouldn’t impression France’s technique for the Indo-Pacific area, the place China has made no secret of its want to train vital navy sway.
“We have one million fellow citizens who live in this region, and over 8,000 soldiers deployed there,” Macron stated, referring to France’s presence by way of a number of abroad territories within the area.
He added, nonetheless, that “Europeans must stop being naive” relating to geopolitical competitions, whereas confirming that France’s ambassador to Washington, referred to as residence within the wake of the subs disaster, would return on Wednesday.

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