20 March 2014, 12:56

Mistral manufacturers in France hint that anti-Russian sanctions undesirable

Mistral manufacturers in France hint that anti-Russian sanctions undesirable

The western countries' sanctions against Russia that the EU and US officials are currently discussing as part of retaliation for Crimea' accession to Russia may threaten the interests of European business companies. Officials of the French companies DCNS and STX have already voiced concern about the likely collapse of the deal to deliver Mistral-class helicopter-carriers to the Russian Federation.

Paris may give up the contract for building Mistral-class amphibious assault ships for Russia as part of the western countries' economic sanctions against the Russian Federation, a move that may lay off 600 workers, engaged in the project. Le Figaro also reports that the collapse of the deal will also negatively affect the financial soundness of DCNS.

According to Le Figaro, Moscow has already paid 1.2 billion euros to Paris, or more than a half of the contract sum. If breach of contract is also included in the economic sanctions package against Russia, France will have to pay the break fee.

Sources close to ARMS-TASS claim that the penalty charge payments will make up the very same 1.2 billion euros. According to the Russian news agency, the sum comprises the cost of the contract for two ships and the punitive sanctions for the contractor's failure to perform their obligations.

West's sanctions against Russia grave mistake, Crimean aspirations 'can't be neglected' - French ex-minister

Sanctions against Russia would be "the West's big mistake", acclaimed French socialist, writer and former education minister Luc Ferry writes.

"For a number of reasons Russia's actions in Ukraine cannot be assessed as faulty," he says adding Crimea had been part of Russia since the 18th century. Ferry finds granting Crimea to Ukraine in 1954 unjustified and deems election of Yanukovich legitimate in contrast to the formation of the Ukrainian interim government, which is "by no reason legitimate".

Ferry described stripping the Russian language in Ukraine of its national status as a stupidity, an absurd and ridiculous provocation.

"It would be grotesque to assume that the Russian army seized Crimea, since the massive presence of Russian troops there is absolutely legal and complies with the earlier concluded agreement," Ferry believes.

"It is an indisputable fact that majority of the Crimean population wants to join Russia," Ferry adds describing opponents' arguments as rather weak in legal sense. "For the sake of which people can be denied their right to self-determination?" Ferry wonders. "Although the referendum was a bit hasty, examination of the situation on the spot shows it corresponded to people's true aspirations, and this cannot be neglected."

"It is exactly for this and a number of other reasons that the European Union and France in particular, had better refrain from adding fuel to the fire. We should at least admit that we are dealing with a legitimacy conflict, while on the one hand, Ukraine seeks to preserve its integrity, which is quite normal, and Crimea wants to secede from this country," the politician believes.

Ferry is also strongly criticizing the West as it "invents itself an enemy", "takes a primitive and simplified view of the situation representing it as confrontation between good Ukrainians and bad Russians".

He also tells European politicians it is unacceptable for them to be oriented towards the USA.

"Europe still has not realized its interests are different from the US ones. The sole thought on Obama's mind is to weaken Russia as much as possible," believes Ferry. "We are living on one continent with Russia, and this is a great country whose culture and politics are of incomparable significance. This is the supreme military and economic power. Threatening it with sanctions is not only insulting but also inefficient, counterproductive and just ridiculous."

Ceasing the dialogue with Russia, he concludes, would be a grave and impermissible mistake.

VOice of Russia, TASS, Newsru.com

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