The US-Greece Defense Act, which will boost support for Greek military modernization, passed its first hurdle, at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Tuesday.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) who introduced the Act applauded the decision by the committee.
“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,” Chairman Menendez said.
PASSED ✅ Applaud #SFRC’s passage of the U.S.-Greece Defense & Interparliamentary Partnership Act to support our stalwart ally & foster security & stability in the Eastern Med in the face of unprecedented challenges to global peace & prosperity. https://t.co/UXuqWuqKBx pic.twitter.com/IC8ucfThPt
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SFRCdems) June 22, 2021
Entitled the U.S.-Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act of 2021, the bipartisan legislation boosts support for Greek military modernization by authorizing new transfers of American military equipment, such as the F-35 aircraft, and fostering increased multilateral engagement among Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the United States.
“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,” Menendez added.
“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,” Senator 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 valued NATO ally.”
Key Provisions of the US-Greece Defense Act
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.