New US defense budget strengthens Greece, punishes Turkey harshly

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The draft US defense budget for 2021 contains important provisions for Greece's interest such as, according to diplomatic sources, CAATSA sanctions against Turkey within a specific timetable and financing projects in Souda Bay worth $50 million.

There is also an emphasis on the importance of Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean, Tribune reported.

The draft of the American Defense budget for the year 2021, which was approved yesterday by the House of Representatives with a large majority (335 in favor, 78 against), contains provisions of special Greek interest.

First of all, there is the provision for the imposition within 30 days of the voting of the CAATSA sanctions against Turkey for the purchase of the Russian S-400 system.

Russian-made S-400. Greece
Russian-made S-400 missile defense system.

This provision effectively deprives the President of the country the opportunity to decide when to impose these sanctions.

However, in addition to the above provision, there is a provision for the funding of projects in Souda, amounting to $50 million.

Finally, there was a calling for the US Secretary of Defense to submit a report to relevant Congressional Committees which contained an assessment regarding the increase of the US military presence in Greece, Bulgaria and Romania.

The report is apparently related to concerns in Washington that Turkey is no longer pursuing "allied interests" and suggests US interest in the wider Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea region.

It is noted that this bill is expected to be passed by the US Senate very soon.

US President Donald Trump already stated that he will veto the bill due to a completely irrelevant issue, continuing his anti-Greece agenda in defense of Turkey.

Trump calls for the repeal of section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act on the Internet and in particular the protection of Internet companies from lawsuits related to issues of freedom of speech.

In this case, the bill will be resubmitted to Congress, where a majority of at least 2/3 will be required.

If not passed this year, the bill will have to be passed by the new Congress, which will meet early next year.