Skip to comments.Defying allies, France to deliver first warship to Russia
Posted on 07/22/2014 7:22:54 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
* Hollande confirms first warship delivery, questions second
* Both domestic backers and opposition applaud move
* But Russian sailors get lukewarm welcome in port town
PARIS/ST NAZAIRE, July 22 (Reuters) - President Francois Hollande won broad domestic applause on Tuesday for defying allies Britain and the United States by confirming plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia, with one backer dismissing their objections as hypocritical.
Speaking on the eve of an EU meeting to discuss sanctions on Moscow over the downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, Hollande said late on Monday that a first Mistral warship would be handed over on schedule in October but a decision on a second would depend on Russia's attitude.
It was the clearest signal yet that Paris will go through with the controversial deal despite the Ukraine crisis and came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be "unthinkable" for his country to fulfill such an order.
"Hollande is not backing down. He is delivering the first (ship) despite the fact he is being asked not to," Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of Hollande's ruling Socialist Party, told i>Tele television on Tuesday.
"This is a false debate led by hypocrites ... When you see how many (Russian) oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard."
The 1.2-billion-euro ($1.62 billion) contract for the two warships, signed by ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government in 2011, was the first by a NATO member country to supply Russia with military equipment.
(Excerpt) Read more at trust.org ...
A couple of years ago, this would have pissed me off.
Now. Why should any country respect the US’ wishes?
The Renault of warships.... ;-)
The allies should have given France to Germany.
Did they include the White Flag?
great what’s next, selling Hamas the stuff to do Israel in?
Why not? They'd just be following Obama's lead.
100 years ago France built ships for Russia all the time.
A vast majority of Russian Battleships were French built.
This is just another parallel from our time to Antebellum World War 1.
Yup, and a good example of how globalization works: Russia sells it’s crappy warships to India, France sells it’s crappy warships to Russia.
Russia is pretty well known for abusing the heck out of it’s warships. These effette French helo carriers aren’t going to remain servicable very long.
I question why the Russians would want to purchase French warships. They have the capacity and knowledge to do it themselves.
Russia has been nationalistic about such issues for 90 years and is not quick to part with hard currency.
and there you have it in a nutshell
I remember seeing large quantities of coal passing by on trains making their way to Norfolk docks ... on the way to european allies aboard ships that were soon to face German submarines (and torpedos) just off Virginia's coast.
I started reading the comments to see if anyone posted my first thought. Why would any country care what this country thinks any more? They know Nobama won’t do anything. People do not care either.
Could it be that evangelic, anti-gay, American thinking is totally in line with communist Russian thinking?
I'm beginning to think that given how hard France and Germany pushed Ukraine to extend the truce, side by side with Russia, they may have a good idea that they're not being told the real situation or they know what is circulating isn't the real story and they're looking for a way to bail on the US without looking like they're doing so.
This doesn't "all come down to their energy supplies", either. For Germany, France, all the Europeans, there's a lot more at stake than their energy supply. If the US is putting on a dog and pony show for the public while doing a lot more behind the scenes in Ukraine than the big dogs in Europe are comfortable with they're not going to hang in there much longer. The US is unreliable and they know it but they're staying in line in hopes the next Prez will turn things around. If they decide they can't wait that long it'll get interesting in a hurry with Kerry and Bozo having public tantrums aplenty.
It's not like the French usually have to have someone to encourage them to run their mouth, ya' know? What they make from these ships wouldn't be a consideration if things were as portrayed is what I think. And Russia taking Crimea, pffft, France would still have Algeria if they could have managed it and would take it back in a heartbeat if they had the means to do so and a half azzed excuse.
Poland coming out and saying the US is completely unreliable was a turning point people just skipped right past. Poland damn sure has good sources in Ukraine and just how often have they stepped up and verified what comes out of Kiev or Washington? Smacking the Russians around is good entertainment any time as far as the Poles are concerned, their year round national sport. And yet, they really haven't had much to say since the first few weeks after the coup. Seems like the Poles would be a lot more vocal and supportive if everything is as it's portrayed.
Just thinking out loud, really, there are some strange cases of unexpected silence from several countries in Europe. Everything coming out of Kiev and Washington is about a quarter bubble off plumb, not just a tad off.
France—what is good for France is their foreign policy. They have their own way of doing things—always have, always will.
Maybe they don't. That's something to consider all on its own, don't you think?
Saddam Hussein used German and particularly French contractors/consultants, it’s a way to buy influence at the United Nations at a small premium. Get on a payment plan and they’ll do your bidding or risk default.
So Russia does the same. Russia might have relatively little influence over France as compared to other EU states where they sell gas given France’s large scale use of nuclear power.
IOW, still seems odd.
The ships are to be fitted with Russian sensors, C4I, and weapon systems after delivery. What the Russians are paying for basically is a modern hull and propulsion system built to 21st century commercial standards. Being build to commercial standards means the structure of the vessel is not as heavily reinforced as a warship. Think employment in humanitarian assistance/counterinsurgency/low intensity conflict scenarios. Perfect platform for intimidating your weaker neighbors.
Yes, they could develop this platform themselves but then there would be all that duplicated effort in engineering and development. Not to mention the time it would take to accomplish this.
I am probably wrong, but I seem to recall the original deal was for two French-built ships with options to build more in Russian yards. If the French limit them to one, the Russians will reverse engineer the single ship they are going to receive and build the numbers they need.
However, nothing they acquire or build can cure the strategic problems for the four Russian fleets created by the lack of direct access to the open sea. Each is constrained either by multiple, uncontrolled straits they must pass through (Baltic and Black Sea fleets) or by being ice bound for part of the year (Northern and Pacific fleets).
Likely to have leverage over French politicians... Bribery is common in case of defense contracts, a part of cash end up in pockets of politicians, Russians being a side in the deal probably have information, who took it on the French side, that’s why France is so impotent during the current crisis. That’s how secret services operate and Putin’s Russia is basically a KGB land. Same goes for “I will have more flexibility” guy, If Russian money was involved in his campaign, they have him in check now.
“This is a false debate led by hypocrites...”
Ding,ding,ding... We have a winner!...