Rubio, Menendez Welcome Committee Passage of U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021
Jun 22 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) applauded the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ passage of their bipartisan bill to bolster the United States’ defense partnership with Greece, the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021. The bipartisan legislation boosts support for Greece’s military modernization by authorizing new transfers of American military equipment and fostering increased multilateral engagement among Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States.
Rubio is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Menendez is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
“As this important bipartisan legislation heads to the Senate floor for full consideration, we must remain committed to ensuring our nation enhances its defense cooperation with Greece, a valued NATO ally,” Rubio said. “I thank my committee colleagues for voting to send this bill to the Senate floor in support of one of our nation’s most important Eastern Mediterranean partners and a fellow democracy.”
"I am very proud to see the Senate Foreign Relations Committee come together in support of this commonsense legislation that not only bolsters Greece’s efforts to modernize its armed forces, but also strengthens our bilateral defense relationship and enduring ties with our instrumental Hellenic partners,” Menendez said. “I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to secure Senate passage of the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act so we can continue promoting security cooperation and lasting stability in the Eastern Mediterranean for years to come.”
Key Provisions of the legislation are listed below.
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 FY 2022 – 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