In light of Russia annexing the Crimea and supporting terrorists in eastern Ukraine, strengthening its military power could be a direct threat not only to Ukraine but to European security system. Thus, politicians, experts and ordinary citizens throughout the world are speaking out against France’s decision to sell the amphibious ships “Mistral” to Russia while many countries are suspending and terminating economic projects with Russia, especially in the defense sphere.
For instance, Germany suspended and then cancelled a contract of 100 million Euros to build a combat training center (CTC) by the Düsseldorf company Rheinmetall in Russia.
Italy has frozen a project on building S-1000 submarine with Russia.
On August 5, deputy Chairman of the Defense Committee of the German Parliament Karl Lamers suggested that France refuse to supply two helo-carriers “Mistral” to Russia. According to him, the NATO could help Paris and buy French contract or rent the warships.
Ordinary citizens are also worried about the consequences of such a trade deal. On July 13, about a hundred protesters gathered in the center of Paris to draw attention to the decision of the French government concerning the “Mistral” deal. The protest was organized as a performance: the protesters lay on the ground, mimicking the bloodied bodies of Ukrainians.
According to Natalia Pasternak, one of the demonstrators and a chairperson of the Ukrainian community committee in France, “they have repeatedly written letters and petitions to the French government with a request to terminate the contract” as there are formal conditions under which France is not obliged to sell “Mistral” to Russia.
“I think everyone will agree that France is selling “Mistral” to Russia because it does not want to have such an enemy, like Putin,” claims French journalist Camille Grunge.
French society supports Ukraine in its European integration. However, on the background of the recent scandal with the French bank BNP Paribas and imposed fine of nearly $ 9 billion in the United States, the possibility of new sanctions seems scary for the French government.
So there is one question left: can a slight possibility of sanctions be compared with hundreds of people killed by Russia-backed terrorists and mercenaries in eastern Ukraine and the growth of Russian military power in the region?