Putin Slams US $9 Billion Fine Against French BNP As "Blackmail" For Russian Warship Deal

Tyler Durden's picture

Recall that about a month ago we reported that shortly after France was stunned to see its largest bank slammed by its bestest buddy, the US, with a record $9 billion fine, "France responded to the fine by announcing it will train hundreds of Russian seamen to operate the French-Made Warship", the Mistral. In other words, for all the angry rhetoric of sanctions against Russia, France was merely the latest country to admit that it too can't exist without Russian business (not to mention natural gas) even if, or especially if, it means incurring US wrath which is taken out on its banking institutions. After all, if the US is engaging in scorched earth tactics France needs a stable trade partner, especially if it is one who turns on the gas, so to speak.

As a reminder, this is what all the commotion is about:


However, it turns out that was only a small part of the story.

Earlier today, when speaking to Russian diplomats in Moscow, Vladimir Putin accused the U.S. of blackmailing France to scrap a contract to sell Russia Mistral warships by offering to cut a record $8.97 billion fine against BNP Paribas. From Bloomberg:

France’s largest bank agreed to plead guilty in court documents yesterday to processing almost $9 billion in banned transactions involving Sudan, Iran and Cuba from 2004 to 2012. The company will be temporarily barred from handling some U.S. dollar transactions.


French President Francois Hollande has refused to cancel a contract to sell two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia in the face of criticism from the U.S.


“We know about the pressure which our U.S. partners are applying on France not to supply the Mistrals to Russia,” Putin told Russian diplomats in Moscow today. “And we even know that they hinted that if the French don’t deliver the Mistrals, they would quietly get rid of the sanctions against the bank, or at least minimize them,” he said without naming BNP Paribas.


“What is that if not blackmail?” Putin said.

Well it is blackmail, but what's worse it shows to what depths the US will fall when it fails to get its way in the international arena even with its so-called allies, which under Obama, is essentially always.

But one wonders: since the biggest opponent of Russian sanctions in Europe is, by and far, Germany - despite what Merkel spouts any given day - and since Russia is sure to antagonize the US in the coming months, one wonders: just what legal and criminal action will the US reveal against Deutsche Bank in the coming months as first blackmail, then "punishment" for daring to engage America's suddenly most hated superpower adversary?

And perhaps a better question: with US foreign policy set to continue its disastrous ways, does this mean that the best way to profit from the incompetence of John Kerry et al is merely to short a basket of European banks? After all, if it happened with BNP it is sure to happen elsewhere in Europe -  a continent which, for better or worse, is now wrapped around Putin's gas finger.

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intric8's picture

Economic terrorism is all it amounts to, and the participants need to be thrown into gitmo, waterboarded, have their balls shocked and then its nail gun time.

kliguy38's picture

King Dollar says you pay Boris..........so you pay........at least for now

Pladizow's picture

America: Karma is a bitch!

What will the next 100 years look like for a bully!

knukles's picture

Putin is Wrong!
It has nothing to do with the aircraft carrier.
It is simply because the French are..... how do you say?


Manthong's picture

What’s the big deal?

Blackmail is a time-honored operational technique for low-lifes.

BaBaBouy's picture

Weapon Of WAR And Mass Disfunction ::: Usd Reserve Fiat Paper...

Oh regional Indian's picture

Actually the fact that it is the french getting screwed is kind of nice.

The fact that the US is doing th escrewing takes away some of that good feeling.

But man, I tell you watch when the colonial backlash finally starts. It will be epic and terrible.

Git yer karma straight while ye can ;-)



SMG's picture

"Let's Have A War" - APC

There's so many of us,
So many of us,
So many, there's so many, there's so many

Let's have a war,
So you can go and die,
Let's have a war,
We could all use the money,
Let's have a war,
We need the space,
Let's have a war,
Clean out this place

It already started in the city,
Suburbia will be just as easy

Let's have a war,
Jack up the Dow Jones,
Let's have a war,
It can start in New Jersey,
Let's have a war,
Blame it on the middle-class,
Let's have a war,
We're like rats in a cage

It already started in the city,
Suburbia will be just as easy

Let's have a war,
Sell the rights to the networks,
Let's have a war,
Let our wallets get fat like last time,
Let's have a war,
Give guns to the queers,
Let's have a war,
The enemy's within

It already started in the city,
Suburbia will be just as easy

0b1knob's picture

Crimea river Putin....

Bunders's picture

And if they did would it show on a google trends list?

I Drink Your Milkshake's picture

I should point out that the proper credit for these lyrics go to Lee Ving & Philo Cramer of Fear, not APC.

And a far superior rendition IMO.

novictim's picture

FEAR does such a great job on that song!

RaceToTheBottom's picture

MBA thinking "The Art of the deal"

Nehweh Gahnin's picture

Of course, karma is only a bitch if you are.  But your point stands...

Urban Redneck's picture

As much I fart in the general direction président Flanby and his uncanny ability to demonstrate stupidity on par with his perpetual stupid face... He obviously understands a simple economic truth better than most:

$1B in factory output is worth more in the real world than $10B in bankster printing press output.

teslaberry's picture

well put....


war is economic (about money) until it's not---and it's about labor and industry backing an army. 


war is the ultimate command and control exercise. 

TheReplacement's picture

And to reinforce that point we will stop BNP from handling dollars?  It's like cutting of your nose to spite my face.

erkme73's picture

Chicago politics on an international scale...  This won't end badly...

Took Red Pill's picture

and now Russian fighter jets are arriving in Iraq to fight the US, I mean ISIS  terrorists;


caconhma's picture

Looks like Mr. Putin, a ZH favorite son,  is in a deep shit: Libya is lost, Ukraine is lost, Assad Syria is all in flames, Iraq is finished  as a country, Iran is betrayed by Russia, and now China will invade whatever left from Russia. What else can someone expect from a thief, a coward, and a gangster?

Obama handlers are on a move! Remember that WWIII is already started.


As for Mistrals, Russia needs them like fish needs an umbrella.

Brit_Abroad's picture

So tell me "Cack on me" what the fuck you been smokin' ?

You need to slow down a bit

FlyingDutchman's picture

Libya, Ukraine, Syria.. might very well be 'lost' for Putin.

But they are by no means 'won' for us.

Bananamerican's picture

Putin should do the Snowden thing more often,,,,
He'll, I didn't know about the fine forgiveness and I LIVE in this fascist backwater!

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

[1] War of the MICs + Energy Wars + Currency Wars = War-by-Proxy.

[2] War-by-Proxy + Insolvent Gov + Black Swan = Major/World War

tick, tock

Ghordius's picture

So how would continental europe look like if we still had 18 separate, small, difficult-to-defend currencies? In this kind of currency war environments with lots of wannabe Soroses and US megabanks willing to push them around to make a political point from Washington moar pointed?

Are you still wondering about the EUR "project"? Or just missing the divinely ordained right to short the French Franc versus the German Mark?

"But one wonders: since the biggest opponent of Russian sanctions in Europe is, by and far, Germany - despite what Merkel spouts any given day - and since Russia is sure to antagonize the US in the coming months, one wonders: just what legal and criminal action will the US reveal against Deutsche Bank in the coming months as first blackmail, then "punishment" for daring to engage America's suddenly most hated superpower adversary?"

imho this is the usual, casual misreading of european politics. in the "we always have leaders, so where is their leader". Germany is by far not the biggest opponent of sanction against Russia, in the same way as France is only importing 18% of it's gas from Russia, as this ZH article shows. Just lately it was Italy that expressed the strongest misgivings

it's a concert. you can't focus on the single notes and think you got the music. we run on consensus, and so you have to listen a bit longer than one second. and it's a kind of protection - the same herds and shoals use to confuse predators

that monstrosity called Deutsche Bank is not, in most ways, a German bank. start with the fact that DB's main honchos are mostly Americans working from a London office. go on with their immense, trillion dollars derivative book nobody can really have any idea how it's structured - or where it would hurt. if Obama really goes after DB I'm going to laugh all the way to the quite predictable end of the story

I'm also not so sure about the willingness of Russia to antagonize Washington more in the next months. Washington has it's way of getting pissed about things without active foreign help

Urban Redneck's picture

But Ghordius, gentlemen and banksters prefer bonds...

and either can still pound a Bund-OAT spread six ways from Sunday...

unless and until Brussels and the unitarists finally get their way...

Ghordius's picture

excellent observation. bur bonds wars are an escalation ladder rung higher than FX wars, aren't they?

Urban Redneck's picture

Higher or lower... I haven't thought through. However, the widening of Italian spreads certainly facilitated Bunga Bunga's replacement with someone more amenable to Brussels' ambitions.

FlyingDutchman's picture

Without the euro we probably would be much more vulnerable in the current turmoil. That might very well be true, but without the euro we probably wouldn't have had this credit overhang.

Quus Ant's picture

"Sources of the autonomous Kurdish government of Iraq say ISIS has plundered in the past fortnight enough advanced US-made weapons to arm 200,000 combat personnel. They include the arsenals of the four Iraqi divisions supposed to have defended Mosul, Kirkuk, its oil fields and the Saluddin province. Los Angeles Times said Tuesday that that US armored Hunvees, artillery pieces as well as truck rockets from Iraq were seen on the Syrian battlefield."  Debkafile

US weapons to Syria without the kerfuffle of congressional approval.  What could go wrong?  Tick tock indeed.

Bingo Hammer's picture

You're correct on the weapons transfer, but few if any have pointed that out.

Whilst the Obama/McCain crowd were "officially" stalled on supplying Syrian rebels directly they went through the back door and had it delivered via the prepacked Iraqi depots.

Though there is much more to the story it expalins the mass dissertion and treason committed by the Iraqi Generals and senior officers (many of whom were/are double agents created by US during the official occupation)

F0ster's picture

The French Finance Minister came out yesterday saying that EU countries should start abandoning the USD in trade. Obozo and his merry band of idiots are now manipulating EU banks like a Mafia protection racket. This is an act of war against the EU to protect US super power. The US has become the global terrorist for sure. This must end. I'm selling all my few remaining USD's today as a matter of principle.

Volkodav's picture

Provide link if making reference....

Alien 851's picture

Reminder of a kinder, gentler time...

On Feb. 15, 1996, the Chinese rocket launching a $200-million Loral satellite blew up. Without telling the U.S. Government, Loral scientists prepared a 200-page report advising China how to improve the guidance of its missiles and forwarded this helpful advice to China without Pentagon approval. 

silver4me's picture

I had to give you an up vote even though I worry that every time I up vote comments I also increase myself on the NSA terrorist list. 

Frankie Carbone's picture

I think that's a horrible idea. Absolutely horrible. 

I think THAT would cause the herd to lift their me-centric, self-absorbed snouts out of the clover field (video games, iPads, Facebook, and HBO) and take notice, and probably go after YOU. 

No, the better route is suicide the old fashioned way: Three gunshots to the back of the head, and a double tap or more to the chest, ruled of course, a suicide, and defended on TEE-VEE by "experts" and "professionals in the field of medical forensics". Now THAT is something the cattle can digest. 

TV News Half-twit bimbo anchor with big boobs: Dr. Horus, how can someone shoot themselves three times in the brainstem and not pass out after the first shot? 

Dr Eyeof Horus: Well easy Ms. -insert attractive bombshell bimbo in $3,500 wardrobe here -, the first shot actually did cause him to pass out, but he was so quick on the trigger, and ballistic EXPERTS confirm this, that, that the trigger was indeed a hair trigger, and so the recoil from the first shot caused a second, totally coincidental perfect shot to his medulla, which at the time was processing his last neural messaging which, according to our brain EXPERTS, was likely interpreted by the motor portion of his brain as "Take another shot", Hence the third shot. It was reflexive. He had already expired by then and his arm was merely acting autonomically on his last mental thought processes. 

Bimbo News Anchor: Well, we're already hearing chatter on the internet from CONSPIRACY THEORISTS, CONSTITUTIONALISTS, RON PAUL SUPPORTERS, and other potential domestic terrorists that a 4th, 5th, and possibly sixth shot were fired due to the alledgedly unexplained additional triple tap to his chest. Can either of you explain that? 

Suicide Tzar Angie Christ: Well, as Suicide Tzar of this administration I just want to dismiss these so-called "free thinkers" out of hand. That observation is perfectly explainable. You see, the first shot went out the front of his neck, so the second and third shots followed cleanly through, then hit a stop sign and ricocheted back at him and hit him twice in the chest. 

Tee-Vee News Bimbo Anchor: But that only explains 3 shots. What about the 4th?

Government SpokesWyman Judy Escariot: It was actually the first shot. A strong spontaneous gale caught the bullet on exit, causing it to reverse course a few hundred yards out, and accelerate to 900 fps, where it struck the victim in the chest, thus explaining the third hole. 

Male Bimbo Co-Anchor: But Judy, Angie. Witnesses claim they heard 6 shots. How can that be? 

Angie: Well, unfortunately two of those three witnesses from yesterday's unfortunate event are no longer with us. One was involved in a fatal car accident this morning, and the other just expired from a rapid onset form of leukemia, a rare 24 hour version seen in every 10,000,000th patient. The third witness now is stating that he heard a car backfire at almost exactly the time of the suicide, but our forensic EXPERTS have confirmed that he heard an echo. 

Male Bimbo Co-anchor: An echo in a cornfield in Iowa?

Judy Escariot (snarling): Mr. Bimbo. Are you witholding source information critical to the National Security of the United States? It is my understanding that this unfortunate event occurred in a canyon located in a corn field, and that's Nebraska, not Iowa, which perfectly explains the echo. 

Network Anchor Bimbo. Well, thank you Eyeof Horus, Judy Escariot, and Angie Christ for your analysis and expert opinion. When we return, More secret revelations on Michael Jackson's tragic death. 



IridiumRebel's picture

I am sure that Mr. Putin will turn this into a positive while making the West look like Asshats. It's not hard to do when your main objective is fuckery. I am not a Putin fan, but I am sick of the West's bullshit. I wonder how Iraq will be financially hurt from the Jet deal...oh wait, we already completely fucking destroyed that country too. 

Sudden Debt's picture

It's more about to do with BNP than Putin.

Something fishy...

And why did nobody mention today that Sarkozy is in jail for fraud?



that this would happen to Obama in 2 years :)

Debugas's picture

ehm was not it Sarkozy who sold those ships to Putin ?

Ghordius's picture

nevertheless it's quite difficult to make that connection. or can you? in which case, do you see a parallel to that other friend of Putin, former Italian PM Berlusconi?

French politics can be "bumpy". if you can connect DSK, too, to all this... then you might have found a very interesting pattern

knukles's picture

Is there a black Ethiopian diseased mentally retarded quadriplegic tick infested maid involved?

Meat Hammer's picture



gallistic's picture


Aw, screw it; I feel like writing. Here goes...

For decades, "Americans" (of the USA kind, not the rest of the Americas) have been successfully trained in Pavlovian fashion to dislike the French, because up until Sarkozy, France had a 40 year long history of staunch opposition to the type of US ideology that has brought us the deception and evil that is this so-called "war on terror".

Let us not forget that Sarkozy prostrated himself and his country for a massive gang-bang by Uncle Sam, Israel, and International Capital/Finance. Long before he "somehow" managed to win the (ugly and dubious) 2007 French elections, he was already known as 'Sarko the American' and 'President Bling Bling'.

Sarko was a Neocon agent whose job was to eviscerate France's military/political neutrality and subordinate the country by reducing its independence. In this dirty deed, he succeeded admirably, to France's detriment.

Essentially, his task was to undermine and undo the lasting work of the Fifth Republic's Charles DeGaulle. One clear example of this could be Sarkozy plugging France back into the NATO matrix after 40 years of an independent, somewhat-sovereign foreign policy.

Say what you will, but DeGaulle was a true leader and a fierce French patriot. Whenever he walked, you could hear his balls clank before he even came into view. Among the many things he did for France-

  • (1960) Dismantled the French imperial order by holding referendums in French colonies which resulted in the complete independence of Dahomey, Cameroon, Ubangi-Shari, Chad, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Upper Volta, and Algiers (although not without a terrible fight in Algiers).


  • (1965) He denounced the United State's "exorbitant privilege" and sent the French navy across the Atlantic to pick up French gold, continuing to reclaim France's gold from the Anglo-Saxon Bankers, exposing the U.S. hanky-panky gold shell game, and setting the conditions for the truth of the "Nixon Shock". France announced in June 1967 a withdrawal from the London Gold Pool shenanigans and moved large amounts of gold from New York to Paris. By 1967 the proportion of French national reserves held in gold had risen from 71.4% to 91.9%.


  • (1965) He rejected the foreign-sponsored doctrine that France should rely on other countries or transnational institutions, such as the United States or NATO for its national security and prosperity. He used every opportunity to regain independence for France by emancipating it from the bonds (shackles) the Western Alliance placed on France's freedom of action. He withdrew from the military branch of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and (gasp!) reconsolidated France's armed forces wholly under French Officers and national command. 


  • He was a man who did not deceive himself by drinking the propaganda kool-aid. He was pragmatic man, unafraid of communism and the big bad Russians. He actually believed nations should be independent and sovereign, instead of subordinated to unaccountable transnational institutions and capital. He (gasp!) personally visited Moscow and reached important commercial agreements (1964) with the Soviet Union. He also reached out to France's uber-arch-enemy Germany, greatly improving political and economic relations with both and initiating a new era in their relations.


  • (1963 and 1967) He vetoed England's bid to enter the common European Market (twice!), rightfully rejecting their ulterior motives, and the noxious influence and worldview England brought to the table.


  • He transformed and modernized France's industry, developing high-tech and enhancing the nation's economic strength. Under his leadership, and importantly, without US help, France researched and developed nuclear weapons, successfully detonating atomic bombs (1960), Hydrogen bombs (1966) and several other nuclear weapons. In doing so, France enhanced its military power and independence.


Sarko was a shadowy agent and an unmitigated disaster for France. He deserves everything he gets...



"Indeed, there can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fiduciary value par excellence."

 -Charles de Gaulle


r0mulus's picture


comments like this are what brought me to zerohedge! thank you for sharing!