Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the President of France Emmanuel Macron shared a vision for EU military autonomy and were allies in signing a historic military assistance agreement between NATO countries in 2021. However, the “Greece – France alliance” slogan suddenly lost momentum.

No one would have noticed the slightest hint of chilliness in the Greece-France relationship if Macron’s MEPs hadn’t voted in favor of a condemning resolution against Greece regarding the rule of law.

A further sign of strain in Greco-French relations emerged when Macron scrapped his April 16 visit to Athens for the Olympic Flame ceremony and the Ocean Conference.

Then, on April 26, despite Paris assuring that Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné would attend the Flame handover for the 2024 Paris Olympics, he didn’t show up, adding to tensions amid expectations of resolving “misunderstandings” in Athens.

Three explanations are circulating regarding the cooling of Greco-French relations. The first suggests Macron’s European aspirations as a factor. Reports indicate he favored Ursula von der Leyen’s position—a respectable “escape” from the problems he faces at home, towards the European Union. Allegedly, he shared this intent with European leaders, including Mitsotakis, who, along with Donald Tusk, backed von der Leyen’s re-election, potentially irking Macron.

The second centers on the recent Paris Conference on Ukraine. Macron allegedly sought increased military support for Ukraine, including weaponry and Western troop deployment for training in Western Ukraine, a request declined by Mitsotakis.

Lastly, Greece’s pivot towards the U.S. in arms procurement could be a sore point. France may have been unhappy with Greece’s F-35 purchase, $2 billion worth of free American military aid, cancellation of a French Belh@rra construction, non-purchase of French corvettes, and additional Rafales.