OREANDA-NEWS. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the defense agreement between France and Greece "the first step for Europe towards strategic autonomy," Kathimerini reported.

On Thursday, Greece held parliamentary debates on a bill to ratify the defense and security agreement concluded with France. The document provides for the purchase by Greece of three advanced French Belharra frigates in the period from 2025 to 2026 with the possibility of purchasing a fourth. The agreement also provides for the provision of mutual assistance in the event of an armed attack on the territory of one of the parties.

"This historic document, presented to parliament, makes today's debate historic, as its adoption marks the defense of the country, strengthening the South European side of the agreement, as well as the first step for Europe on the path to strategic autonomy," the newspaper quoted Mitsotakis as saying.

According to him, the first new frigate will arrive at the Salamis naval base in 2025.

According to the newspaper, the roll-call vote of the deputies for the agreement will begin on Thursday evening.

The defense and security agreement was signed on September 28 in Paris in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The signatures were put by the ministers of defense and foreign affairs of the two countries.