The Russians have agreed to purchase two amphibious warships from France:
After a long hesitation and arduous negotiations, Russia has decided to buy at least two of France’s advanced Mistral-class amphibious warships in an unprecedented military deal between Moscow and the West, the two nations said Friday.
The multimillion-dollar sale, announced jointly by the Elysee Palace and the Kremlin, marks the first time in modern history that Russia has made such a major defense acquisition abroad, illuminating a fast-evolving relationship with former Cold War enemies. The swift changes were dramatized at last month’s NATO summit in Lisbon, when President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to work with NATO on ways to cooperate with the U.S.-led alliance in erecting a missile defense system for Europe.
The Mistral sale, whose financial terms were not disclosed, also signaled a triumph for French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s relentless salesmanship and a boost for France’s sagging defense industry and 10 percent unemployment rate. It will, the Elysee declaration noted, provide the equivalent of 5 million hours of work over four years for 1,000 qualified French employees at the STX shipyards at St. Nazaire on the Atlantic Coast. And it might lead to the purchase of two more vessels.
“Presidents Medvedev and Sarkozy hail the concretization of this unprecedented cooperation, which will benefit industry and employment in our two countries, and which illustrates the will and capacity in France and Russia to develop large-scale partnerships in all areas, including defense and security,” the Elysee said.
Dear President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin: You may want to rethink that deal.
More seriously, the article notes the strenuous objections of the nation of Georgia, parts of which were recently ripped away and occupied by the new Czars, and also objections from Republicans in Congress. Not surprisingly, the Obama administration has been silent. Still hitting that reset button, I guess.
To be honest, though, I doubt we could have done much to stop the sale without putting a serious strain on our relationship (such as it is) with France; they have a problem with high unemployment, too, and have a national interest in maintaining a naval shipbuilding industry.
Whether the ships they build work or not is another matter…
*To answer the question in the subject: Покупатель Остерегайтесь
via Gabriel Malor on Twitter