The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has unanimously approved a bill providing for military supplies and training aid to Greece, in light of the tension between Ankara and Athens.
The bill, which was approved on Tuesday, and is entitled the US-Greece Defense and Parliamentary Partnership Act of 2021, was previously submitted on June 9 by the committee’s chairman, Democratic Senator Bob Melendez, and its Republican member, Marco Rubio. Read also Ankara adheres to possessing Russian missiles, and Washington confirms its position The Turkish Ministry of Defense reveals joint naval exercises with the United States in the eastern Mediterranean Between Israel, America and Russia… Who owns the best missile defense systems in the world?
The project allows for new transfers of US military equipment to Greece, and reinforces the growing multilateral partnership between Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States.
According to the text of the bill, it would allow the urgent delivery of any future F-35 aircraft and give priority to the delivery of additional defense materials to Greece, like other countries and regions.
It asks the Secretary of Defense, with the approval of the Secretary of State, to report to Congress on the defense needs of Athens and how the United States will pursue those needs through the transfer of defense equipment to Greece.
The project also authorizes the Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP) to help Greece support its transition away from Russian-made military equipment, and authorizes $1 million annually to support Greece’s military education and training in the period 2022-2026.
It calls for the need to support the provision of direct loans by the United States to Greece for the purchase of defense materials and services, and design and construction services in accordance with the further development of the Greek military force.
As part of the “1+3” process launched between these governments in March 2019 to discuss areas of potential cooperation, the bill provided for the creation of a parliamentary group between Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States to serve as the legislative component of the process.
turkish greek tension
This US support comes at a time when the relationship between Ankara and Athens is still tense in the Aegean Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Washington to deploy hundreds of war helicopters and military vehicles at its naval base it established in the Greek Alexandrian region, 20 km from the Turkish border.
According to the Turkish press, the United States of America is not only massing its forces in Alexandrian, but also on the island of Crete, in order to control the eastern Mediterranean.
A study by the SITA Research Center backed by the Turkish government stated that there are several issues that arise in the political background of the United States establishing a military base in Alexandrian, the first of which is the policy of international competition with Russia, and Greece’s need for rapprochement with America following its failure (Athens) to obtain what it wants from the union The European Union, the tension between Ankara and Washington over Turkey’s obstruction of natural resource search activities involving American companies around the island of Cyprus, and the search for natural resources activities run by Turkey
Turkish analyst Yugal Agar says that America’s progress in developing its military cooperation with Greece has a character that can be understood as a move against Turkey.
“As a result of Turkey’s activities in the eastern Mediterranean and some of Turkey’s national decisions that run counter to US interests, Greece’s access to Washington’s support may be troublesome for Turkey,” Agar added.