Project with Australia Cancels, France Sells Warships to Greece

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PARIS French and Greece signed a multibillion-euro deal for Athens to buy three warship French. This deal was praised by the President Emmanuel Macron as a great impetus for defense ambitions European Union (EU).

The memorandum of understanding for the purchase of the Belharra frigate was signed less than two weeks after France was shaken by Australia’s cancellation of a contract to buy submarines as part of a new defense pact with Britain and the United States.

Also read: French Ambassador: A lot of time and energy was devoted to a submarine contract with Australia

After meeting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Elysee Palace, Macron said that Greece would buy three frigates from France as part of a deeper “strategic partnership” between the two countries to defend their common interests in the Mediterranean.

“The agreement marks a bold first step towards Europe’s strategic autonomy,” Macron said France24, Tuesday (28/9/2021).

According to press reports, Macron called Athens’ decision to buy the Belharra ship a sign of confidence in the French defense industry, against competition especially from American group Lockheed Martin.

The deal also sends a clear signal from Paris after heavy losses this month from a multibillion-euro submarine contract with Australia, which announced it would buy nuclear-powered submarines from the US.

“This contributes to European security and the strengthening of Europe’s strategic autonomy and sovereignty, and therefore to international peace and security,” Macron said.

The French leader has long insisted that Europe needs to develop its own defense capabilities and be less dependent on the United States, even warning that NATO is experiencing “brain death”.

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