As its Western allies condemn Russian actions in Ukraine, France prepares to give Russia’s military a boost.
On June 22, a group of 400 Russian sailors will arrive in France to be trained how to operate a powerful French-made warship, one of two that Paris is selling to Moscow,
Stacy Meichtry of The Wall Street Journal reports.
Some of the Russians will then pilot the first of two Mistral-class carriers back to Russia in October, unless France’s allies get their way.
The U.S. has long objected to the deal, worth more than $US1.6 billion, which The New York Times notes would “augment the Russian military’s capabilities against the very nations that now appear to be most vulnerable to the Kremlin’s pressure.”
And once the Russian seaman arrive, it will be hard for Paris to back out.
“Four hundred Russian trainees are rather difficult to keep below the radar,” Nick Witney, a defence analyst with the European Council on Foreign Relations, told WSJ.
Meichtry notes that the dispute over the sale “illustrates how Europe’s reliance on Russian resources risks unravelling strategic alliances that helped the West win the Cold War.”
The EU can’t agree on imposing tough sanctions on Russia over its destabilizing actions in Ukraine as Russian natural gas powers EU homes and business while Russian oligarchs park their money in UK banks.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.