French President, Francois Hollande defied American and British allies by confirming plans to deliver a helicopter carrier to Russia. Speaking on the eve of an EU meeting to discuss sanctions on Moscow over the downing of a civilian airliner over Ukraine, Hollande said that a first Mistral warship would be handed over on schedule in October. He also said that the sale of a second warship would “depend on Russia’s behavior” in the coming months.
Soon before the announcement, British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said it would be “unthinkable” for England to fulfill such an order. President Obama also opposed the deal.
“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.”
That’s the opinion Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, the head of Hollande’s ruling Socialist Party.
The deal made by France with Russia (which was signed by then-president Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government in 2011) is the first of its kind. Never has a member of NATO provided Russia with military equipment.
After Russia’s recent actions in Crimea, supplying pro-speratist rebels in Eastern Ukraine, and stacking troops on the Russia-Ukraine border, it probably isn’t the best idea to sell them a warship, at least not right now.