Athens is claiming a bigger role in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Balkans through the upgrading of its defense cooperation with the United States.
Greece and the US are in advanced talks for the renewal of the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA). In recent weeks, Athens has attempted to combine the five-year renewal of the MDCA with the inclusion of Greece in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programs similar to those concerning Egypt, Israel and Jordan, however this effort seems unlikely to bear fruit.
The focus of the talks concern the duration of the MDCA and the use of new camps or military bases. So far, a total of 23 locations have been put on the table – besides Souda, Stefanovikeio, Larissa, Alexandroupolis.
The expansion of the defense deal may also depend of Greece’s plan to acquire new frigates. Washington is waiting a non-binding Letter of Request (LOR) from Athens to start a more substantive discussion on the type of ship that the US Navy can offer Greece as a temporary solution so that talks can proceed – if Athens selects the US proposal instead of the French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, British or German.
If the American proposal is selected, there is also a specific provision for the joint development and production of the next generation of American Constellation-class frigates (FFGX).