The bilateral defense agreement between Greece and France is expected to be sealed tonight, at the working dinner that Emanuel Macron will have with Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Paris.
The details of the agreement are to be finalized on Tuesday in Paris. The discussions are attended by the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Dendias. The pertinent announcements are expected to be made on Tuesday morning, outside the Élysée Palace, by the leaders of the two countries.
“Let us have some patience” stressed the government spokesman earlier, noting that talks were at an advanced stage.
The “package” of the agreement, which is expected to exceed €4-5 billion, is reported to include the concession of three Belharra-class frigates, with the option to purchase one more and three Gowind-class corvettes. According to received information, there will also be a purchase of six more Rafale fighter jets, the total number of which will amount to 24.
The “window” of opportunity for the development of the Greek-French “cooperation” opened after the unexpected announcement of the U.S.- U.K. – Australia alliance, which angered France, as it lost more than $50 billion from the cancellation of a signed armaments deal concerning the construction of submarines on behalf of Australia.
In order to appease the fury of the French and to avoid the complete disruption of US-France relations, the US seems to be withdrawing its interest from the Greek Navy’s armaments program, thus giving the green light to the Greek government to move on to other options.