The world's developed countries are growing increasingly impatient with Russia and its belligerent antics it appears. On Monday, after months of debate, France opted to pay Russia $1.2 billion to settle a lingering dispute over whether two amphibious warships would be sold to the communist state as planned.
The deal went sour over the ongoing conflict in the Ukraine, according to both French and Russian media reports.
The deal — not yet official — would have France keep the two 21,000 ton warships and retain the right to sell the ships to a country of their choosing, reported French paper Le Journal du Dimanche.
“Legally, this decision has not yet been formalized, but it is known that the Russian and French sides agreed within one month to determine the exact condition of cancellation of the contract for the supply of RF class ships Mistral" read a translation via the TASS Russian wire service. Given the source of the news and Russian increasing propaganda, the sale may have actually ended on far less friendly terms.
Russia has already paid France about $811 million as part of the $1.5 billion 2011 deal for the Mistrals — which were modified to operate in Arctic conditions and accommodate Russia’s heavier helicopters — and will reportedly not seek additional penalties or legal action.
France will use the proceeds of a planned $2 billion sale of Airbus EC 725 Caracal helicopters to Poland in order to pay Russia, reported the French paper.
The delivery of the ships was halted due to Russia invading the Ukraine.
The move from France was unexpected. European military defense experts had expected France to eventually deliver the ships as the French economy very much needs the money. The turn of events shows that France was unable to balance its sale of the ships with its status as a world leading country in light of the serious actions of Russia.