Greece will honour a deal to buy three frigates from France, Paris and a source in the Greek defence ministry said Saturday, after a competing offer from the US threatened to overturn the contract.
“Since we have been in discussion with the Greeks, the American offer is no longer on the table… We also signed the contract with the Greeks.
It was initialled a few days ago,” France’s armed forces ministry told AFP. A source at Greece’s defence ministry said “the agreement is on and moving forward”. “It has been done at the highest possible level.
On Friday the US State Department said it had approved the sale for $6.9 billion of four Lockheed Martin combat frigates, known as multi-mission surface combatant ships.
The announcement suggested France faced a fresh commercial arms deal threat after the US wrested away a massive submarine contract for Australia in a shock announcement on September 15 that ruptured relations between Washington and Paris.
France recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Australia and labelled it a “stab in the back” by an ally when Canberra ditched a longstanding deal worth billions of euros to buy conventional French submarines for US nuclear-powered vessel.