Greece announced on Thursday it had received two offers for the majority stake of the Alexandroupolis port, a key point of entry to Europe for arms and energy imports.
One is by Quintana, an American company with interests in the energy sector; the other is by International Port Investments Alexandroupolis, a joint venture led by the Greek construction company GEK Terna, with participation from BlackSummit, a U.S. investment fund.
Alexandroupolis is a crucial entry point for the shipment of military material to Ukraine, as well as a strategic location for the diversification of European energy sources. It is located in the far northeast of the country, eighteen miles west of the Turkish border and thirty miles south of the Bulgarian border.
US Ambassador to Greece George Tsunis visited the Alexandroupolis Port Authority on Thursday and underscored the vital role the port plays “in securing NATO’s southern flank, helping Greece lead the region’s energy diversification, and as a key gateway to the West Balkans and the Black Sea.”
In 2021 alone, the US Armed Forces moved 3,100 “pieces” through it, according to official sources cited by The New York Times. These sources did not specify the type of military material but assured the Times that it was all destined for US bases in Europe. This year, up until July, more than 2,400 pieces moved through the port.
The port has experienced unusually high traffic of military ships—so much so that when 1,500 Marines from the USS Arlington docked in May, the city’s fifty-seven thousand inhabitants faced shortages of some products, such as eggs.
Alexandroupolis port in Greece plays a vital role
The port of Alexandroupolis will play a vital role in the military presence of the US in the country, foreign minister Nikos Dendias said recently.
Speaking during a debate in Parliament on the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) signed between Greece and the United States, Dendias described the use of the northern Greek port by the American military as “one of the most important elements of the agreement.”
“We want the strategic presence of the United States,” he added. Yes, we do not want Alexandroupolis’ port to be a commercial one: it is exactly this that bothered [Turkish President Recep] Tayyip Erdogan,” he added.
The MDCA’s was signed by FM Dendias and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington on October 14, 2021.