A new air is sweeping across the Eastern Mediterranean due to the defense agreement between Greece and France, which is expected to be announced on Tuesday morning (at 10 am Greek time) by the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and French President, Emanuel Macron.
The “mega deal” with France – amounting to 5 billion euros – brings Belharra frigates, Gowind corvettes but also a historic defense agreement between Greece and France.
Details of the agreement were discussed at yesterday’s dinner of the French president and the Greek prime minister, while the Ministers of National Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, and Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, went to Paris, where they had discussions and meetings with their French counterparts.
According to the information so far, this is an agreement that will exceed 5 billion euros and includes the purchase of three French Belharra frigates and three more Gowind corvettes.
The fact that the French submitted an improved offer both in terms of cost and delivery times played a catalytic role in reaching an agreement. What remains to be clarified is whether the three corvettes will be built in Greek shipyards.
The most basic aspect of the agreement is the Doctrine of Defense Assistance, according to which if one of the two countries is threatened or provoked, then the other country will assist it militarily, according to information. In other words, in case of a hot incident with Turkey, France will be able to send military forces, planes, ships, and land forces to defend the sovereign rights of Greece.
The Doctrine of Defense Assistance has political and diplomatic implications and sets up a wall of deterrence against Turkish provocation.
The deepening of the cooperation between Greece and France is essential
“There is a deepening of our cooperation with France,” said the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in an interview with ERT inside the Louvre Museum, while when asked about the defense agreement, he limited himself to saying that tonight (Monday) he would have an extensive discussion with President Macron, and referred to the official announcements for more details.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Emanuel Macron will make statements to the press from the Palais des Champs-Elysees on Tuesday morning.
Asked to comment on whether there is a possibility of a hot incident with Turkey, Mr. Mitsotakis said that “I had predicted in the spring that we would have a quiet summer, I see no reason why we should not have a quiet autumn and a quiet winter.”
He then expressed the view that he prefers to see “the glass as half full”, to add: “There are issues that we can cooperate on with Turkey.”
“International law is the only tool for resolving it,” he said, adding: “Turkey knows very well what our borders are. They are not just the borders of Greece, they are the borders of Europe. We currently have concrete decisions of the European Council that put Turkey before its responsibilities. I always prefer to see the positive side of things. At the same time, however, Greece has an obligation to strengthen its deterrent capability. And we do this in a very systematic and substantial way, always within the framework of our budgetary constraints “.
“I am not in the mood to enter an arms race with Turkey. This is not my intention. “But there are key issues of modernizing the armed forces, after a decade of crisis, which I have a responsibility to address and then pass on to my successor or successor, because you know that these are decisions about armaments programs that have a long horizon.” , stressed and then added: “I will hand over more powerful armed forces to my successor.”
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