France Suspends Warship Sale to Russia
According to the Associated Press, France has suspended plans to sell two warships to Russia, a major sign that Europe is willing to more forcefully confront Russia over its escalating fight in Ukraine:
PARIS (AP) – President Hollande: France suspends plans to deliver warship to Russia amid Ukraine tensions.
— Ken Thomas (@AP_Ken_Thomas) September 3, 2014
France agreed in 2011 to sell Russia two Mistral-class warships, a deal worth 1.2 billion euros. However, France has since been pressured to cancel the deal following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula and backing of eastern Ukrainian separatists.
European nations have been caught in a bind over the conflict in Ukraine, as their interdependent economies limit their ability to level serious sanctions on Russia without adverse economic effects. France’s decision to suspend the warship sale likely signals that European powers have decided punishing Russia is worth the cost.
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