After Paris challenged the Oaks Agreement between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom, a new diplomatic-geo-strategic front opened in the Mari region, where Washington already has a very strong military relationship with Athens. Therefore, the question is more straightforward and complex than a simple (signed or torn) contract.
The US State Department has announced approval of a possible sale of naval frigates in Athens to counter an agreement already announced between France and Greece in September over the new Belharra. Indeed, it is a possible American trip to Paris, in the wake of the tensions that have arisen around the Aukus Agreement Between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, in a fierce dispute by Paris. While work on the Elisha-Parthenon axis is progressing on the one hand, thanks to the 36 Rafale fighters purchased from Greece, on the other hand, we can not hide the very strong American penetration into Greece thanks to the agreement signed by the then figure. 2 of the white house, Mike Pompeo.
Derby or Sgambito?
A declaration of interest is not the same as a form in a contract, of course. But the memo from the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) is an important step forward: It said it had approved the sale to Greece for $6.9 billion of four Lockheed Martin frigates, just 10 weeks after Athens signed a memorandum. By agreement with Paris on a similar agreement for French-made ships. The operation also includes, on the American side, the modernization of MEKO-class frigates and related equipment at an estimated cost of $2.5 billion. The Athenian Ministry of Defense has been discussing this deal with parigrade abroad since 2017. Meanwhile, other actions were recorded by major players, such as France, which was personally committed to directly confronting Erdogan’s provocations against Cyprus and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean (which also circulated The sound of the F-35 in Athens. Direction).
There are two plans for discussion, the first being only technical and the second being geopolitical, and therefore strategic. The US announcement states that the contract will be concluded “with the winning bidder in an international tender” by the Greek Ministry of Defense for the modernization of its equipment. Objectively speaking, the agreement announced by the French President and the Greek Prime Minister on September 28, which the Elysee depicted almost as compensation after the issue of submarines no longer supplying Australia, is in question. Indeed, the trilateral security agreement in the Indo-Pacific region that caused Paris concern includes the supply of nuclear-powered submarines to Canberra. However, Macron had already hinted at the certainty of the schedule regarding the agreement with Greece, with the three Pillara frigates to be delivered to the Greek Navy in 2025 and 2026. The fourth frigate.
But from a geopolitical point of view, there are two possible explanations that can be offered for this American move. The first is that since the State Department announcement is only a formalization of interest in this particular maritime project, and not an “almost” decade, this move may be purely tactical in nature and ideally not only involve the country in question but the whole aspect washed by the Persians, To the west (Libya) and east (Turkey). We should not forget that the convergence of several fronts, which is still quite open, is part of a dense network of old and new relations that affects Washington, also in light of the image that the Abrahamic agreements have changed.
The second possibility is that the United States really wants to play openly a game that it does not intend to lose. The defense agreement between the United States and Greece, which Pompeo also initiated with the participation of prominent technological players, and which Blinken concluded in recent weeks, effectively turns Greece into a new logistics platform for American vehicles and soldiers. Athens is very important for the new geopolitical chessboard associated with the energy profile, because it has become a new gas center in the Mediterranean due to the simultaneous presence of TAP and Tanap and (when and if they were completed). Ships loaded with American LNG are arriving in the Aegean Sea at Revithoussa at a good pace, which is gradually increasing.
In this sense, the excessive activity of the United States in the port of Alexandroupolis, which should be privatized by the star player and sector as a counterpoint to Piraeus in the hands of China and Thessaloniki in the hands of Russia, should be evaluated by a consortium led by the Russian oligarch Ilin Ivan Savedis. Therefore, the question is more straightforward and complex than a simple (signed or torn) contract.
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