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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TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

NATO feared de Gaulle because he saw through their charades and duplicitous machinations and stood for the sovereignty of France.

When de Gaulle learned that NATO and the US were behind more than two dozen assassination attempts on him, he ordered all NATO units off of French soil.


NATO and the US are terrified by Putin for the same reasons that they were afraid of de Gaulle. He sees through the charades and stands for the sovereignty of his nation.

Even worse, he points out US/NATO hypocricy and double standards regarding international law, elections, and self-determination. In the view of 'american' regimes, this is the gravest offense possible.

gallistic's picture

Right on Stooge-ing, I agree completely.


Excellent article; thanx for the link.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Good use of D&C* by Putin.

* Divide & Conquer, not the other/medical D&C (Dilate & Curettage).  Unless you consider the US as the Unwanted Pregnancy in countries around the globe, after having been screwed by Uncle Sam.  Metaphorically speaking.


Alea Iactaest's picture

Hey IR. It won't take Putin to make the Americans look like "ass hats". It seems we're doing very well on our own.

What happens when American Exceptionalism is replaced by American Revulsion? What happens when the US is despised by the global community as we continue to run off our allies one by one?

Just possibly it creates a sound case for (i) replacing the USD, (ii) suspending the US Consititution as it will be "found" to be the source of American aggression, and (iii) creating a need for "international monitors" to be placed in the US to keep the peace.

At the same time we're seeing TPTB create a bogeyman out of the "far right" and "religious fundamentalists" in the US. Can you say "false flag"? Wait until one or more of these fringe elements is charged with acts of terrorism. Watch as Homeland Security flexes its muscles. Watch the Consititution vaporize in a puff of smoke.

Domestic enemies identified. You're either with us or against us! (And at least our BFF Japan is heading in the right direction by reinterpreting its US-written Consititution. Yay!)

If that doesn't work there's always Plan B. Bring in enough "new voters" to the US and call for a Constitutional Convention after they've been properly educated for a few years. We can just vote for a new Consitution to fix all the flaws in the original.

I'm in!

thamnosma's picture

Free speech as long as it's not offensive to LGBT, illegals, disabled, minorities, muslim religious leaders, democrats, progressives., etc.

Only government approved militias may be armed.

That's a start.

tony wilson's picture

what a cunt : )

 transgenders,gays and hollow hoax 911 dancing jews.


ever heard any body any actor say sorry to a muslim.

how about sorry to the jews gary oldman mel gibson and on into saturnic infinity

Tompooz's picture

" (And at least our BFF Japan is heading in the right direction by reinterpreting its US-written Consititution. Yay!)"


To me it looks much more like the US finally getting Japan committing its troops and hardware to whatever the US demands from it.

Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Russia is lesser evil of the two choices we are facing, and one of those bigger evil is currently in control of our government and economy.

JustObserving's picture

The US rules the world with both military (900 military bases in 130 countries per Ron Paul) and economic weapons enhanced by infinite spying.  If and when US hegemony collapses, it will be epic.

Keep buying gold and silver for that event.

gdogus erectus's picture

Don't sweat it. At the right moment, most of these bases (paid for with our money) will all be magically transferred over to the UN.

Ghordius's picture

I don't believe this "scare the conservative" old, old, old anti-UN fantasy even one moment. for this, you'd need the IMF and a deal with China and the rest of the BRICs... and if you are willing to make such a deal while having all this military might... it just makes no sense

nope. there are two scenarios for it, imo. slow reduction or... privatization. with privatization being the worst scenario. one that is already creeping in. watch the next interventions. when one official regiment is sent... and 20 corporate mercenary outfits do the real thing, paid directly by megacorporations, then we are there. shortly before the return of the Indies Companies, complete of their own navies and armies

TheReplacement's picture

Gold and silver alone will only get you killed.  Better stock up on lead, brass, copper, and steel first.

shovelhead's picture

Do.n't forget the Claymore Garden Gnomes

Husk-Erzulie's picture

I always thought those little fucks looked really angry...

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I can see you and your guns holding off some thugs, organized or not.  But I cannot see you and your guns holding off the US government.

If things get that bad, there will be no backing off by them.  They will not want to set a precedent.  

Do you see yourself as "winning" in that scenario?

cro_maat's picture

How do you define winning?

Who won the Vietnam war? The Vietnamese ultimately drove the French and the U.S. out of Vietnam. But the real winners were the CIA (Golden Triangle), Monsanto, McDonnell Douglas, GE, Kissinger, etc.

I just want to survive along with my family and network.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

I thought your goal was to keep your gold safe, in addition to your family.

SmackDaddy's picture

i see myself not going out like a bitch.....

thestarl's picture

Definately not on my knees.

disabledvet's picture

I think Putin's head is about to explode.

Wonder how "Rummy" is doing these days as well?

dvfco's picture

I'd love to see a Mortal Kombat where the entire game is Obama vs. Putin. 

However, in this game (as in real life) Obama can never, ever win.  

Putin wins every round by squeezing Obama's head until it explodes and snakes come out, or by ripping out where his heart should be only to pull out a computer chip and wires, no heart, no brain.

Do you want to play a game?

knukles's picture

That'd be like paying $500 to watch Gennady Golovkin KO Cesar Chavez Jr in the first minute of the first round.

Volkodav's picture

VV Putin had he continued, would likely have been all Russia Judo Champion

It is ridiculous to make comparison vs weak skinnyboy

Better not fight Russians are tougher....


pathetic looser's picture

dude i love fedor but please stop with this nationalistic nonsense , every tribe has its own worriers.

gallistic's picture

How about Global Thermonuclear War?


Hmm....A strange game; the only winning move is not to play.


How about a nice game of chess?

onewayticket2's picture

"if you vote for me, i will restore America's credbility overseas.....WE are the Ones we've been waiting for"

Nevsky's picture

All that is left of that promise, as some here at ZH have eloquently put it, is flapping in the wind.

Alea Iactaest's picture

It's not a failure if that was the plan all along.

knukles's picture

Credibility means only a power to elicit belief.
Belief in what is another whole story

Urban Redneck's picture

Too bad the EUSSR doesn't have the balls to use selective prosecution of US banks as a foreign policy tool.

A good bankers-as-pawns made-for-tv melodrama would be an amusing break the tired "terrorism" melodrama.

Da Yooper's picture

I find that interesting too


Are Russia's bankers somehow related to AmeriKa's bankers ?


Volkodav's picture

Head of Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina is a Tatar.

Long trusted in the Putin Administration

not the same tribe

pathetic looser's picture

banker is a banker. its just a domestic form of opression

RazvanM's picture

The man that is responsible for thousands of deaths in Cecenia, Georgia and Ukraine, for teritorial raptures, for assasinations of hundreds of jurnalists and other oponents and for the resurgence of state protected russian Mafia criticizes other countries. A blackmailer of weaker neighbours and the expert on breaking contracts for political motives tries to say that others do it too. This accusation is pretty thin, but it may catch a few front page views and it may influence a few naiives.

NotApplicable's picture

None of what you've said changes the facts at hand, so... other than all governments are pure evil (which you didn't bother to say), what's your point?

As always, IDNJY (I did not junk you) for your comment.

Anusocracy's picture

I junked for the purely emotional thinking.

Meat Hammer's picture

I junked for the that guy's a dick, too!! line of thinking.

RazvanM's picture

So, do you know the dossier and you are sure that the fine was politically motivated? This charade played by Putin is part of a strategy to weaken US. But not for the good motives: US has the only military muscle to stop Russia expansionism.

I'm sure that the critics of Hitler expansionism were junked for "subjective" comments. After all, the german people were living under fascist regimes in the neighbouring countries and asked to be liberated. And the Stalin expansionism wasn't expansionism, was state organized tourism on tanks. And those tourists forgot to leave for more than 50 years.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Pure delusional ravings exhibiting disconnect with reality.

Typical Banderatard.

RazvanM's picture

No problem, I voted you +1 for your explanation.

Anusocracy's picture

"Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battlelines, which is not so much our enemy as our brother's enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves."

That is the basis of my thinking on ingroup-outgroup conflicts.

"Whether the mask is labelled Fascism, Democracy, or Dictatorship of the Proletariat, our great adversary remains the Apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier or the battlelines, which is not so much our enemy as our brother's enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this Apparatus, and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others."
— Simone Weil, Politics, Spring 1945

RazvanM's picture

What does it matter if I say that all governments are local Mafia organizations playing the game of free elections? I just say that I wouldn't accept advices about democracy from the responsible for the killing of tens of thousands of people, a man that is waging war onto a country right now. What would be next on the line? Advices from Pol Pot about corruption in US? Or from Boko Haram leaders?

I do separate the issues, but giving to <strong>any</strong> economic issue political implications will take us to a territory where logic and common sense are not applicable.

TheReplacement's picture

Is not BS.  Putin just is one gangsta calling another gangsta, Obama, out.

I say tie them together and let them duel with claw hammers to see who is best.

NotApplicable's picture

Puty would get dizzy from Obummer running circles around him trying to escape.

Can we get Frankie to call the match?


intric8's picture

Obozo isnt your typical athletic black dude. Hes more slow-twitch. I think if putin connected a good one, obama would go no mas no mas

Anusocracy's picture

Putin is many decades from a Russo-centric world government.

The US, with some luck, could pull it off in a decade.

Ergo, the US is the primary foe.