U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today was joined by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing new legislation to bolster the United States’ defense partnership with Greece.
Entitled the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021, the bipartisan legislation bolsters support for Greek military modernization, authorizing new transfers of American military equipment, and fostering increased multilateral engagement among Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States.
“As a reliable NATO ally, Greece plays a critical role in promoting security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. The 200th anniversary of Greek independence reminds us of the long history of U.S.-Greece cooperation based on our shared commitment to democratic values, and we must continue building that cooperation in the years to come,” said Chairman Menendez. “In order to ensure that the Eastern Mediterranean remains secure, the U.S. must bolster its defense relationship with Greece by supporting Greece’s efforts to modernize its armed forces. This legislation seeks to strengthen the bonds of friendship between the U.S. and Greece in order to advance our shared values, promote security cooperation, and support a secure Eastern Mediterranean for years to come.”
“This bipartisan legislation will continue to enhance defense cooperation with Greece, a valued NATO ally,” said Senator Rubio. “By extending Foreign Military Assistance to Greece and establishing an interparliamentary partnership with democratic countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, this legislation reaffirms our strong commitment to the region at a time when malign actors are working to undermine international security and stability.”
Find a copy of the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021 HERE. Key Provisions of the legislation include:
Support for Greek Military Modernization:
- Authorizes European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP) assistance to Greece to support Greece’s transition away from Russian-produced military equipment
- Authorizes $1 million per year in International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance for Greece for FY2022 – 2026
- Expresses the Sense of Congress that the U.S. should provide direct loans to Greece for the procurement of defense articles, defense services, and design and construction services pursuant to the further development of Greece’s military force
Transfer of American Military Equipment to Greece:
- Authorizes expedited delivery of any future F-35 aircraft ordered by Greece
- Requires that the delivery of excess defense articles to Greece be given the same priority as that given other countries and regions
- Requires the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to submit a report to Congress on Greece’s defense needs and how the United States will seek to address such needs through transfers of excess defense equipment to Greece
Parliamentary Engagement within the 3+1 Framework:
- Authorizes the establishment of an interparliamentary group among Cyprus, Greece, Israel and the United States to serve as the legislative component of the 3+1 process launched among the governments in March 2019