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

.

This accusation is pretty thin, but it may catch a few front page views and it may influence a few naiives.

Your accusation is indeed thin, but I don't think it will make any front pages or influence anyone.

But hey, maybe if you try harder next time, who knows?

luckylogger's picture

Well you got one up arrow and it was from me....

All these down arrows are in a catagory I call "putins' pussy's"....

Most people do hope the natural looser will win. 

Obumer aitn much but thankfully he will be gone and the US will keep purring along. When Putin is gone then russia falls into chaos. 

Always has when a strong leader dies or something....

I am sure the guy has more than one enemy and some of them are probably pretty good at whatever they do.

Only one has to make it thru as Putin probably has to keep his eyes on hundreds if not thousands.......

Somewhere, some how, sometime he will die, I doubt he is imortal.

thamnosma's picture

"The US will keep purring along".... sure, buddy

luckylogger's picture

It is actually pretty amazing if you think about it......

Look at all the shit Obumer and clan do to fuk everything up and we are still the best country and most powerful in the world.....

Others will try to change currency regimes but the one thing all foreign currencise do is crash and then everybody comes running back to the dollar.

Read your history books, The dude that rules the oceans rules the world......

Wahooo's picture

When did sheep starting purring?

Sandmann's picture

Really ? Putin is an FSB man holding Russia together after Clinton and Bush tried to dismember it. It is a US speciality to dismember countries and destabilise their regimes unless they are subservient like the UK or occupied like Germany. Putin is not particularly nice, but nor is the US which is run for gangsters.

My respect for Hollande goes up, but he knows a heavy fine on a bank is tolerable if real jobs in DSN shipyard can be saved - he knows how that plays. It is good that Russia gets ships in France; pre-Lenin it was Germany and UK competing for Russian orders for warships.

It is time Europe starting telling the US how to behave with regard to Israel or Mexico and stop the US trying to break up European trade with Russia so it can impose its Free Trade Treaty on the EU and imprison Europe in the EU Bloc

r0mulus's picture

Very good post. The only part I disagree with you is the part where the UK is "subservient". I feel they are ok with giving that impression so long as the City of London is able to maintain it's position at the top of the financial pecking order.

Z_End's picture

I too am waiting for Putin's counter move to this. This is a disgraceful and petty move on our part.

NotApplicable's picture

Our part????

Well, cut that shit out!

Sudden Debt's picture

why are there humvees depicted on the carrier list?

DID AMERICA LOSE SOME OF THERE ALSO???!!

Dr. Engali's picture

Well China did buy the Hummer brand from Gm even though the Humvee is now made by AM General.

Overfed's picture

AFAIK, the HMMWV has always been made by AM General.

uno's picture

believe they were toyota pick ups, they are more effective in iraq and africa

SmittyinLA's picture

Let's hope France doesn't look too hard at all the US mortgage backed securities they bought from US banks, they might be levying their own fines and ask for criminal prosecutions for some US banks.

Then there's the war crimes...., HFT trades, gold fixing etc.

 

 

uno's picture

oh no you didn't go there

orangegeek's picture

Putin just hurls shit at the media to move markets after he is positioned

 

Even the commies have figured out the game

 

Keep spewing Vlad - make that 70B into 140B

Rock On Roger's picture

Vlad has no billions, where is your proof?

 

I see you prefer the orange Kool-Aid.

 

Shill On

 

Volkodav's picture

I agree....no proof...

as if is all important....What matters is Russia Federation has leadership

billions and trillions stolen elsewhere and used against those it taken from...

compare...

kikk's picture

There are only 2 things that fuck this world up.

 

1. A greedy corrupt and fraudulent financial sector

 

2. US foreign policy

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Unchecked Greed + unchecked Pride = Root of All Evil

In creatures/orgs big and small.

22winmag's picture

One hand certainly washes the other.

cherry picker's picture

It appears to me that the evidence over the past year or so points to Putin's favor.  He appears to have more integrity than the western crew of so called leaders.

At least you know where you stand with him, like him or not.

Obama, go back to community organizing in Chicago, whatever community organizing means.

TheReplacement's picture

I wouldn't trust Putin any more than Obama except to say that if they were fighting on even ground I would always bet on Putin.

Alea Iactaest's picture

"I'll have more flexibility after the election."

aardwolf's picture

LOOK.... WE ALL KNOW PUTIN IS JUST ANOTHER MURDERER LIKE ALL LEADERS OF COUNTRIES ARE (IT'S ALWAYS BEEN PART OF THE JOB DESCRIPTION).

 

BUT PUTIN MIGHT HAVE THE DECENCY TO SHOOT YOU IN YOUR FACE. THAT'S WHY I LIKE HIM. HE IS LESS OF A HYPOCRITE. HE'S LIKE: "YEAH I'M A GANGSTER...WHAT OF IT PUNK?"

 

WHEREAS US/UK LEADERS ARE HYPOCRITICAL DELUDED MASS MURDERERS THAT WOULD STAB YOU IN THE BACK. JUST LOOK AT TONY BLAIR SHAKING GADDAFI'S HAND THEN 3-4 YEARS LATER HE PAYS SOME MILITANTS TO FUCK HIM UP THE ASS WITH A BAYONET!!!

 

THAT SAYS ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE US AND UK FACIST "LEADERS" . THEY ARE TWO FACED COWARDS AND GIVEN THAT A BLIND MAN COULD SE 9/11 WAS A MOSSAD INSIDE JOB...THE WESTERN MURDERERS AREN'T EVEN COMPETANT FFS?!!!

 

LOOK HOW LONG THEY HAVE BEEN FUCKING AROUND IN SYRIA!!! THE US SPY AND WAR MACHINE IS GETTING OLD AND FAT JUST LIKE THE AMERICANS THEMSELVES AND THE WORLD CAN SMELL BLOOD IN THE WATER...

tradewithdave's picture

Himpton Doctrine... ask Marc Rich, oh yeah he's gone. Ask Jon Corzine. BTW, where is Jon Corzine?

tsuki's picture

Running a new Ponzi scheme, MyRA. 

CuttingEdge's picture

The new US economic policy: Tap up foreign banks one by one to fill that sinkhole of US debt, while your own do what the fuck they want.

About time the rest of the world told the US to go fuck itself.

 

 

Apeman's picture

Fuck you, Murica!

smacker's picture

"Fuck you, Murica!"

NO. If there's one lesson to be learned from reading ZeroHedge it's that the US Government - especially under the likes of Obama and his criminal cohorts and the Deep State apparatchiks - is that it does not speak for millions of American people. Meaning that we all have to draw a clear distinction between government policy actions and the people it purports to represent, but doesn't.

Same thing applies in Britain and the rest of Europe.

Government speaks and acts for itself, not the people.

McMolotov's picture

That's a fine thought, and it's undoubtedly true, but the people will always suffer for the misdeeds of their government.

I'm sure there were good Germans when Hitler was in power, and I'm equally sure many of them died horrible deaths when the Allies bombed the shit out of that country. When Murica faces its day of reckoning, don't think for one minute the bombs will be directed solely at politicians and bureaucrats.

In my opinion, all of us — myself included — have blood on our hands for allowing this corrupt government to still exist, and if I think that way, you can be certain a good portion of the rest of the world feels the same.

smacker's picture

I cannot disagree with anything you've written. And you provide a good analysis of how things often pan out. All I can say is that wherever it's possible, I draw a distinction between the "American People" and the "American Government", at the same time recognising there are always plenty of people who support the Obama government. Fortunately not many of them appear on ZH and those that do are quite easy to spot :-)

Ghordius's picture

"Same thing applies in Britain and the rest of Europe"

sorry, but I'm soo tired of this "if it's so and so in the Anglophone world, then it must be worse elsewhere". prejudice. a simple prejudice. expand your sample with details or stop putting us all in the same kettle

smacker's picture

Ghordius dear fellow, surely I don't have to provide evidence that the British government does not speak for me. That's either of the two main parties. We have Hard Left (verging on Marxism) on offer from Red Ed Miliband and his gang of buffoons and - nowadays - Soft Left on offer from the Tory Party. Both are into Big Government without any Constitutional constraints. I am a strong supporter of having a proper strong Constitution.

How can either party possibly speak for me??

One look at Hollande in France will tell you he does not speak for millions of Frenchies.

One Look at Rajoy in Spain will tell you he doesn't speak for many Spaniards.

It goes on.....

THAT you are a European socialist who enjoys big government and all the rest of that nanny-state stuff does not mean the rest of us do.

Ghordius's picture

I'm quite sure I'm as much more socialist than you than more conservative than you. And I won't hide that I'm... fascinated by this "hate socialism with every fiber of the body" of yours

I fought communism. Does it count?

smacker's picture

Ghordius, I've never said what you claim.

But I do intensely dislike socialism. Socialism is a cancer on mankind. It cannot and never will replace mankind's desire to be free. Socialism has nothing to do with "levelling up" but of "levelling down". It destroys aspiration, innovation, risk-taking, the hard work ethos, freedom, personal responsibility and a whole lot more. It's the politics of envy. It's anathema to mankind's natural being.

Look at the millions killed in the name of socialism: USSR, China, Pol Pot, Nazi Germany, Italy. Then we have the Islamic warfare which is politically socialist (totalitarian) even if they don't realise it.

Look at the poverty across the EU today.

Look at the abject disaster of every socialist government in Britain since WWII.

All in the name of socialism.

HamRove's picture

Ahhh Good ole USSA....Our chief export these days is Blackmail, and tactical jackanapes.

LawsofPhysics's picture

Shut down the pipelines to Europe from Russia already Mr. Putin, nothing changes otherwise.  More jawboning for a better deal, nothing more. 

 

Same as it ever was.

TheReplacement's picture

One would expect that he wants to have possession of those warships BEFORE starting down that road. 

WAMO556's picture

I'd wait until WINTER! Nothing makes a statement like: "Damn, it's cold INSIDE!"

Meat Hammer's picture

If Putin shuts off the gas he'll cut off his own balls.  The media will have a field day showing video of Ukranians freezing while Putin is out bear-wrestling.  The American sheeple will want boots on the ground in east Ukraine.  They'll liken it to Hitler slaughtering Jews.  And it'll work. 

In my opinion, he knows this.  He can make himself seem like a swell guy by leaving the gas on and assuring Ukranian citizens that his beef is only with their government, but if his troops are attacked on the eastern border then he'll have no choice. I think Putin has a better hand.  He just has to hold out and do nothing.  

 

Sandmann's picture

Maybe the US will supply free gas to Ukrainians ? That would be great...impose a 20% levy on natural gas prices in the USA so they can gift gas to Ukrainians. Free Energy is surely much cheaper than 14 carrier groups ? Maybe the US should guarantee all Iraqis and Ukrainians a Minimum Income Guarantee and use the Social Security budget to pay for it ?

Which US State is it that pioneered free energy for those unwilling.unable to pay ?

 

Ukraine is one of the biggest energy wasters on earth but why should they try to be efficient when the US taxpayer is meeting their bills ?

Meat Hammer's picture

Meanwhile, Detroiters are distilling their own piss for water.

'Murica!!!!

are we there yet's picture

Metaphorically true, Detroit is a center for arab immigration via Dearborn.

Againstthelie's picture

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.

Welcome Mr. President Putin, to our "tinfoil hat" "conspiracy theorist" club!

czarangelus's picture

The US approach to its waning "soft power" seems to be, use it or lose it. They're burning every bridge they can on last ditch manuevers and squandering every long term investment made over the past generations to buy a few weeks or months of status quo.

Againstthelie's picture

No. This regime never has been acting differently. The difference is, thanks to internet the news monopoly of the international high finance and their plutocratic regimes has been broken and suddenly interested people within the ZOGs can receive the other side's arguments, instead of the controlled "plurality" of 2000 TV-stations and MSM outlets.

Gadfly's picture

Who's the evil empire now?

Volkodav's picture

Exceptional evil empire...