France Defies US, British Demands To Kill Mistral Sale To Putin... For Now

Tyler Durden's picture


While the theater of Russian sanctions has been streamed to a live, and global, studio audience non-stop in recent weeks, when it comes to money actually walking, the French sale of its amphibious marine warship, the Mistral, to Russia has continued as planned (a $1 billion ship we should add). And it is this intransigence by Paris that piqued the ire of not only the UK but also the US.

First, it was British Prime Minister David Cameron who earlier today "questioned" France's plan to sell Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, saying fulfilling such an order would be unthinkable in Britain after the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane in Ukraine. When asked about France's plan to press ahead with a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell the ships to Russia, Cameron said: "Frankly in this country it would be unthinkable to fulfill an order like the one outstanding that the French have.

Well, France is not the UK which is why the US also had to chime in, and as Reuters reported moments ago:


It is unclear if said official added that fulfilling such an order in the US would be unthinkable too.

Russia too had an opinion. As Interfax reported, "suspension of the Mistral contract would bring Russia much smaller damage than the damage France would suffer, should France backtrack on its obligation to deliver two helicopter carriers to the Russian Navy, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin."

"Billions of euros stand behind these contracts. France has always been very pragmatic. I doubt that [Paris will backtrack on its obligations]," Rogozin told reporters in Samara on Monday.


"Suspension of the contract would bring 99% less damage to Russia than to France, as we have every right to claim the money and the deck components made by Russia's Baltzavod which France will have to disassemble," the deputy prime minister said.


"Russia has large-scale assembling know-how today. We can build such ships on our own, if required," he said.

So it was all up to France, which appears to have come up with a compromise of sorts, when moments ago it announced that while it is far "too late" to cancel the transaction of the first warship which will be delivered in October, regardless of how much farther European sanctions escalate, France would be willing to cancel the sale of the second Russian Mistral ship should sanctions be raised. Why? Because Russia still has not paid for said ship.

Of course, keep in mind that this is the same France which was already punished to the tune of $9 billion a few weeks ago when the US slapped a record fine on BNP, and which resulted in a statement by none other than the head of the French central bank (issued on the US independence day) that the BNP case would merely encourage "diversification" away from the dollar. 

 The reason for the fine? As Putin explained previously: to make blackmail France into selling any more ships to Russia.

Said otherwise, the US certainly does not enjoy being presented with counter-blackmail, and the second France warned that the USD may lose its reserve currency status, it was time to strike. What better way to do so than to show the world who is (still) boss than by depriving the French economy out of hundreds of million in much needed funds.

As for who the biggest loser is here, Russia was at least right about that. As the Telegraph reported moments ago: "the head of France’s business federation has called for an end to the 75pc tax rate and to the 35-hour working week, saying the country’s economy is “catastrophic”. Pierre Gattaz, president of the Medef – France’s equivalent of the CBI – said the 75pc tax that companies are forced to pay on employees’ annual salaries above €100,000 (£79,000) was damaging France’s competitiveness.

“It’s a symbol which, like the 35 hours, has gone around the planet, and it’s destructive. I never meet a single Chinese or American who doesn’t bring it up,” said Mr Gattaz. “The economic situation of the country is catastrophic … if France was a company, it would be going bankrupt.”

So sadly while France certainly has dire need for the funds, it will ultimately be forced to admit that, at least for now, the US is its superior, and once sanctions are once again raised, it will have no choice but to terminate the option for any more Russian ships... even if it means pushing its already "catastrophic" economy even deeper into the redline.

One wonders: with allies like these, is Paris certain it needs Russia as an enemy?

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Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:00 | 4985422 booboo
booboo's picture

It's the French and it sounds like "Menstrual" go figure.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:02 | 4985437 knukles
knukles's picture

"Bloody Frogs"
  -Sir Winston Churchill

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:15 | 4985477 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Not to worry... I'm sure the CIA have some field operatives welding a rather largish radio-controlled explosive device to the hull as we speak.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 21:02 | 4986089 mrpxsytin
mrpxsytin's picture

It doesn't matter whether the ship is ever used or not. What matters is the trade deal between France and Russia. The content of the deal is entirely symbolic. Russia could simply turn the ship into a tourist attraction; it makes no difference. The difference is whether Russia can get nations on its side of the line and off the USA's side of the line. 

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 23:27 | 4986156 COSMOS
COSMOS's picture

Gotta love the Russians and their knowledge of contract law, they put in their own deck pieces in that ship that were welded in the construction and if France reneges on the deal they have to return those very same pieces original pieces which means they have to take the ship apart.  LOL

BRILLIANT!  How is that for an ex communist state beating the capitalists at their own game.  The Chinese are even more keen than the Russians in such matters.  They had their credit card system up and running a loooong time ago.  Not to mention in China, all joint ventures are 51% owned by Chinese companies.  Good luck using international law to yank out the manufacturing equipment that was gutted out of the USA industrial heartland and brought to China.

It amazes me how destructive to our country greed has been on all levels, from Corporations to Govt

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 01:34 | 4986821 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Rubbish. They are buying FOUR Mistrals - France needs the work unlike the US which has full-emplyment and Ferraris in every driveway. France needs contracts - only the US is Never-ending Boom

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:19 | 4985490 booboo
booboo's picture

Bloody Rag Heads.

Tony Blair

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:21 | 4985496 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Bloody Rags !!!

 Aunt Flo...

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:25 | 4985511 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Don't those wiggle a bit while you use them for a tampax?

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:36 | 4985546 knukles
knukles's picture

..... long pause
I uh... wouldn't know but it does be some considerable visuals....

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:04 | 4987092 Analyse2
Analyse2's picture


Young Winston Churchill - serving in France as commanding officer of the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers from 5 January to 6 May 1916 - wore a French army helmet in the trenches during WWI in honour of the bravery and valour of the French soldiers.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:00 | 4985426 BanksterSlayer
BanksterSlayer's picture

France cannot afford to lose this business and they are already pissed off at the BNP Paribas debacle. France will do whatever Germany does, and Merkel will do whatever the German businessmen demand. Germany has already pivoted East and France will follow.


Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:03 | 4985440 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

With advisors like you it's no wonder Hollande's approval ratings are at twenty percent.

Talk about a "sitting duck."

Spain is already smack talking....and they are on the ISIS hit list.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 19:08 | 4985648 Elvis the Pelvis
Elvis the Pelvis's picture

Europeans are a spineless group.  If it weren't for America, they'd all be speaking German.  Bitchez.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 19:57 | 4985858 balz
balz's picture

Actually, USSR won the Second World War, taking more than 90% of the casualties. The US only got in when it became clear that the Soviets were winning and it was a race for Berlin. Go read your facts, young padawan.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 21:37 | 4986232 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

War in Atlantic, north and south.
No Soviets.
War in Caribbean, Pacific from Aleutians to Australia.
No Soviets.
War in Burma, China, Philippines and countless islands.
No Soviets.
Africa, to Iraq and Iran.
No Soviets.
Air war over Europe.
No Soviets.
Defeat of Japan and Italy.
No Soviets.
Incompetently murder more Soviets in the last 100 miles to Berlin then the US lost world wide in the whole war. Yeah, gross wholesale slaughter of peasants is always impressive.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 09:50 | 4987546 JenkinsLane
JenkinsLane's picture

9 out of 10 German infantry losses were on the Eastern Front.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 21:00 | 4986075 fervent in spirit
fervent in spirit's picture

Elvis ... please do us all a favour and promote your blog somewhere else. Lots of posters here have their own sites, but they aren't linked to with every inane post on every thread that comes up.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 03:02 | 4986915 the tower
the tower's picture

The USA and US businesses supported Hitler all the way, as did the UK.

Let's face it, the USA has been playing the same game for a century: start a war by escalating a conflict, supply both sides with weapons, reap the monetairy and political benefits.

The game is up, the world sees you for who you are, a cancer on the planet.

I prefer to speak German, at least the Germans are a hardworking, honest people. Not lying two-faced bitchez Americans are.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:16 | 4985484 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

I think we are going to see a concerted joint declaration of dollar abandonment in

the near future.Putin put his head over the parapet, and now others are going to

follow his lead.

Lots of hints out there if you look.

The narrative on Malasia Air is already falling apart, no wonder Obozo was so vague this am.

people outside the US are already muttering 'false flag ', had it from my sons in the UK,

my nephews in Cyprus, and my cousins in Switzerland, without me saying a word.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 19:17 | 4985679 Omen IV
Omen IV's picture

Spoke to a friend in Argentina today - ditto!

The word "Obama". means in multiple languages today = Liar

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44 | 4985574 barre-de-rire
barre-de-rire's picture

i will be more rude, 50 billion announced over 3 years when need 80 per year... dont expect holland to bypass the billion trade on the balance...


we got most dumbass president ever but on this one, his stupidity is a bless for us.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:00 | 4985431 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

give 'em hell france!

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:05 | 4985441 knukles
knukles's picture

The Good Olde US of A ought a ban imports of French vodka and condoms for that shit-trick.  Hit 'em where it hurts, right in the old shaven nut-sack.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:16 | 4985487 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Dear Knukles, French babes don't even shave their pits, let alone their nuts !!!

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:27 | 4985516 knukles
knukles's picture

When a man's daughters don't shave their nut-sacks what's this country comin' to?
   - to paraphrase Hizzonor Mayah Daley of Chigaago

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:32 | 4985535 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Zactly !!!

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:27 | 4985519 dracos_ghost
dracos_ghost's picture

Fuck. Back to Freedom Fries I guess in the company cafeteria.

Explain how a NATO entity can sell military equipment and weapons to the enemy. Oh wait, I should have stopped at NATO, I believe it's now an agency for social change and trans-gender powder puff football.

Anyone else wish they would just rip the bandaid off this NWO oozing sore and get it over with.

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 04:26 | 4986988 Volaille de Bresse
Volaille de Bresse's picture

"Explain how a NATO entity can sell military equipment and weapons to the enemy"

We've joined the NATO again because our "beloved" Sarkozy wanted to, no more. He had an insane crush on Murica (or more precsiely the US tv shows like "Miami Cops" he used to watch).
99% of the F
rench population really resents that decision, as they think NATO is just another name for US domination on Europe.

NATO is good for small clueless Euro countries, like Poland Bulgaria Estonia, countries who think they'll be protected by the US "umbrella", in case shit happens.

Hah hah, will the US boys die for Sofia or Warsaw? Nope.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:08 | 4985452 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Perhaps the French should export the Committee of Public Safety to the UK and US.  Kind of like a second Statue of Liberty (rather than a torch, she should be holding the "drop" rope).

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:04 | 4985443 BurningFuld
BurningFuld's picture

1 Billion.....ack...peanuts....

Probably do a bit of damage with 10 Billion dollars worth of these.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 23:52 | 4985453 Hulk
Hulk's picture

Pourquoi le loup mange l'agneau?

Pourquoi-Le Papillion

If songs have a tendency to get stuck in your head, don't listen to the youtube link above !!!

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:09 | 4985457 NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

So,  if the friend of my friend is friend?   Then for ZH'er who like Putin should also like the French.  

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:28 | 4985522 knukles
knukles's picture

That's askin' a whole lot there, friend.
   (voice of John Wayne)

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:11 | 4985465 orangegeek
orangegeek's picture
France Defies US, British Demands To Kill Mistral Sale To Putin... For Now


get the drones.  blow up Paris

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:46 | 4985584 barre-de-rire
barre-de-rire's picture

isis uranium is untarget for now, but something tells me than within 2 year paris could smell burnt indeed. ( would be fuckin awesome btw, 95% of france hate parisians. )

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:16 | 4985476 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

This issue is about gas line payment and future oil pipe expansion. 

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:17 | 4985485 o.t.p.s
o.t.p.s's picture

okey no problems they gonna collect france dept a little earlier..... job done

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:21 | 4985497 tuttisaluti
tuttisaluti's picture

I would claim the statue of liberty back

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:54 | 4985498 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

Vive La France!


- for giving USSA, pUKe, IsraHell - The Talmudic Troika Of Terrorism - the quenelle ;)

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:22 | 4985501 QQQBall
QQQBall's picture

Don't pay, sanctions raised and pressure put on frogs...let France sweat.... buy ship at discount.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:29 | 4985526 knukles
knukles's picture

Now that's what a real man would do.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:30 | 4985529 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

De Gaulle didn't pussy out to the US/UK. When he learned that the US/NATO were behind multiple assassination attempts on him, he booted all NATO units out of France.

This is an opportunity for the French government to show some spine, flip the middle finger, and shove all those surrender-based stereotypes back where they came from: Uncle Sam's bunghole.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 19:59 | 4985871 ali-ali-al-qomfri
ali-ali-al-qomfri's picture

Hey The4thstooging, here is an updated French(ish) attitude..... cheers.

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:40 | 4985556 barre-de-rire
barre-de-rire's picture

france will never stop selling 2 fucking ships to russia, FFS wake up dumbfucks... FRance sold NUKE system to iran & israel, france helped to hide nuke for israel to usa decades ago, you wanna pissed us off for 2 mother fucking boats ?  FUCK YOU

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:44 | 4985573 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

This act is based on BRIC development or Petrodollar terrorist attacks. Wake up and smell the coffee. 

Again, when the multi-nationalist/Central Bankers children get killed, all bets are off in when fucking Wife's, hookers, drug revenue, and Senate/Congress bribes.

Anything to remain a progressive status quo theive is in high mode to kill and protect by giving away more free taxpayer shit .


Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:46 | 4985580 arby63
arby63's picture

Hate to sound rude but please build them. Your track record in engineering is laughable at best

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:45 | 4985581 Racer
Racer's picture

And the US' poodle barks again.

Bring on the death of the dollar, I am sick of this US bully stirring up war everywhere

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 18:51 | 4985597 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

FED: Hello Belgium? This is the Janet @ Le FED. We know how much you love the French. We need your help laundering some more money to help USA, Inc purchase some sensitive military equipment off book. Oh, and if you don't we'll make sure the Russians think that you sank it.

Belgium: Oui cochon / Ja Varken / Ja Schwein

Voila! Problem solved

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 19:19 | 4985687 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

I encourage Belgium to continue buying. It will become the next banking war. The US military will be so close, turning them into a city of glass is one bomb away. 

Don't worry Belgium, USA military will be sure you're in session. Time to take down the central banking scumbags. 

BIS Bullshit. That's right France. 


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