French President Emmanuel Macron announced, on Tuesday, a “deeper” strategic partnership with Greece, to defend the common interests of the two countries.
This came during a joint press conference of the French President and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, at the Elysee Palace, in the capital, Paris.
Macron said that Greece “will buy three frigates from France, as part of a deeper strategic partnership between the two countries to defend their common interests in the Mediterranean.”
He added that this agreement represents “the first bold first step towards European strategic independence.”
He also stressed that Europe “constantly needs” to develop its own defense capabilities and reduce dependence on the United States of America.
Athens’ decision to purchase the Bellara-class ships was considered a “confidence indicator” in the French defense industry in the face of competition, especially from the American “Lockheed Martin” group, according to press reports.
The defense agreement with the Greek comes after a crisis erupted between the United States and France due to Australia’s termination of a submarine deal it had made with Paris, and its replacement with another one with Washington.
“It is a historic day for Greece and France,” Mitsotakis said, as they decided to modernize their bilateral defense cooperation.
He added that the agreement includes “joint support” and “joint action at all levels”, without revealing any financial details related to the contract.
He also stressed that the agreement was “non-hostile” to Greek-American relations.