In October 2019, the USA and Greece signed an amendment of the existing agreement (Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement – MDCΑ) for the US bases in Greece. In the framework of this amendment (the full text remains secret) the deployment of many new US military bases in Greece was announced. Besides the existing huge naval base of the 6th US fleet in Crete – the only one in the Eastern Mediterranean – aircraft carriers, additional naval bases, helicopter bases, drone bases and weapons depots are now being established in various sites in Greece. The US was also granted the right to install forces in Greek military camps, to have administrative rights in these installations and – according leaks in the press- to store nuclear weapons.
In Cyprus, two huge British military bases, with 3,000 troops, have existed since the colonial times and now they serve as US military bases as well. On these bases, the UK exercises sovereign rights. Recently France also installed a naval and an air force base on the island.
In Albania, Poland and various other east European countries a great number of US military bases have recently been built. One of the largest US bases in the world has been deployed in Kosovo, right after its violent secession from Serbia. In addition to the expansion of the US bases, NATO is deploying new bases and combat forces in its East European member states. NATO and the US have now a permanent naval presence in the Black Sea. On top of all the above, the announcement of the US withdrawal from INF Treaty, which took effect on August 2019, opened the door for a new cycle of arms race in the field of mid-range nuclear missiles.
IADL believes that the increasing military activity in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, the integration of new members into military coalitions and the attempts to surround Russia with US and NATO military bases and nuclear weapons do not benefit the peoples of the region and bring the danger of war even closer. We also warn that the deployment of such bases violates Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.
IADL also underlines that the deployment of military bases, especially in relatively weak and dependent states, leads to the total control of their internal and foreign policies and adds major obstacles to restoring their independence and full sovereignty .
Brussels November 2019.