Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday spoke of the sealing of the strategic depth of the Greek-US relations as well as for the shielding of Greece via the increase of the deterrent power on land, sea and air, without burdening the Greek tax payer, after the letter he received from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the acquisition of up to 40 F-35 fighter jets of 5th generation as well as frigates, tanks and other defence material.
“This development justifies the active and credible diplomacy we are following everywhere in the last years” he said.
Mitsotakis also said that “today is a very important day for the national defence and for the Greek diplomacy because due to the letter I received from US Secretary of State, the strategic depth of the Greek-US relations is highlighted and sealed….it is the result of a methodic, silent and long effort that combined Greece’s alliance consistency in the international fronts with the promotion of its national interests.
“In a period of uncertainty, our country reaffirms that it stands with seriousness and geopolitical maturity in the international map while at the same time it serves its national rights with the shielding of its defence. On the path of stability and peace always with pride and national confidence” he concluded.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s letter
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
Defense trade with our NATO Allies is a fundamental component of our efforts to bolster European security and strengthen the Alliance’s collective deterrence and defense. To this end, we have sought to work closely with Greece to advance our shared interests and promote international peace and security, which are essential to the continuation of the rules-based order. This strong bilateral relationship is a testament to the enduring links between our nations, and I am encouraged by the progress we have made together under the U.S.-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement to maintain strong, capable, and interoperable militaries. While subject to the U.S. government satisfying all applicable statutory requirements, including Congressional notification, we intend to expand our security cooperation partnership as follows.
First, on September 27, 2022, Congressional notification procedures were completed for $ 30 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) grant assistance for Greece’s defense purchases to encourage critical support for Ukraine; and on October 24, 2023, the United States allocated an additional $ 30 million in FMF assistance to Greece to encourage further donations. Second, we have already notified Congress of the following proposed Excess Defense Articles (EDA) grant transfers to Greece:
– Two EDA C-130H aircraft;
– Ten EDA engines for P-3 aircraft; and
– 60 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles as EDA.
Third, we will submit for Congressional notification the following for transfer to Greece:
» Up to 40 new F-35 aircraft via Foreign Military
– Three Protector-class ships as EDA; and
– Various trucks and trailers as EDA.
Fourth, we will submit proposed ship transfer legislation to Congress with a request that it provide the nece5sary statutory authority for the transfer to Greece of up to four littoral combat ships as EDA. Fifth, we continue to be interested in the defense capabilities Greece could transfer or sell to Ukraine. Should these capabilities be of interest to Ukraine and pending a U.S. government review of their condition and associated value, we can explore opportunities for potential additional FMF up to $ 200 million for Greece. Sixth, I will priorifize Greece to receive excess mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles as they become available over the next year and will consider Greek requirements should KC-135 tankers become available. In addition to the C-130H aircraft, the Department of Defense is working to provide pricing and availability data for a Greek purchase of new C-130J. Greece has taken remarkable steps to modernize its defense capabilities. I look forward to increasing our cooperation and developing a more robust strategic relationship between our armed forces.
Antony J. Blinken