Jun 09 2021
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) in introducing new legislation to bolster the United States’ defense partnership with Greece. The bipartisan U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021 seeks to bolster support for Greek military modernization, authorize new transfers of American military equipment, and foster increased multilateral engagement among the legislatures of Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States.
“This bipartisan legislation will continue to enhance defense cooperation with Greece, a valued NATO ally,” Rubio said. “By extending Foreign Military Assistance to Greece and establishing an inter parliamentary 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.”
“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,” Menendez said. “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.”
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