France Surrenders -- A Major Arms Sale


France has stood up to Russian threats and is sticking by its decision to not deliver the first of two Mistral class amphibious ships. This is all about NATO opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Back in June France was willing to defy its NATO allies and deliver the first Mistral, as promised, before the end of 2014. But continued Russian aggression in Ukraine, including the shooting down of an airliner in July, persuaded France to halt delivery. Russia now threatens to sue in court, but the Russians may find themselves in court for war crimes, which would have an impact on the Mistral contract suit.

Back in June most European nations did not like seeing the France renege on their 2011 contract, worth over $1.8 billion, for the two Mistral class amphibious ships. This is the largest Russian purchase of Western weapons since World War II.


French arms deals are usually more mercantilist than strategic, which should give you a clear indication of just how worried Paris is about Moscow’s intentions.


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