LONDON, ($1=0.78 British Pounds) — It turns out that France and Germany continue to sell weapons to Russia between 2015 and 2020, despite European Union [EU] sanctions, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing savunmasanayist.com.
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According to an EU analysis document released by The Telegraph, France and Germany sold 273 million euros in weapons to Russia between 2015 and 2020. These weapons are currently being used during the occupation of Ukraine.
Military equipment sold to Russia by EU countries includes bombs, missiles, rockets, and cannons. It is noted that sales continue despite EU sanctions imposed after Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
According to a report by the European Commission, at least 10 EU member states have sold arms worth €350 million [$379 million] to Russia in violation of sanctions. French and German defense companies are responsible for 78% of these sales.
EU countries determined to continue arms sales to Russia continue to spend 1 billion euros a day on energy supplies from Russia since the start of the war. Advocating the sale of weapons, Berlin noted that the weapons were committed to be used “for civilian use only.”
Sanctions imposed by France
France has approved a total of 76 export licenses and signed arms sales to Russia for €152 million [$162 million]. It was also noted that France, taking advantage of the EU’s deficits, gave the green light to continue the arms sales agreements signed before 2014.
In addition to bombs, missiles, and torpedoes, companies in the French defense industry have supplied thermal imaging cameras to more than 1,000 Russian tanks. At the same time, navigation systems for fighter jets and attack helicopters were delivered.
Thales and Safran
According to a study by the French investigative news site Disclose NGO, French defense companies Thales and Safran are among the companies selling Russia the most weapons. Thales and Safran are said to be selling thermal imaging cameras for tanks, navigation, and infrared detectors for fighter jets and helicopters.
France even planned to continue selling two Mistral-class landing craft to Russia until 2015, but that sale was canceled as a result of pressure from the United States and European partners. However, the administrations of Hollande and Macron continued to maintain sales, taking advantage of the deficit in the EU embargo.
The legal vacuum in the EU embargo worked as follows: sanctions had no retroactive effect. In other words, any treaty signed before the embargo could still maintain its continuity.
Deliveries continued in all contracts signed before the EU embargo was implemented. These deliveries never stopped. It has been established that the French Thales and Safran have delivered 800 cameras to Russia by 2020.
At the same time, sales of the TACAN navigation production system and the Thales cockpit display for combat aircraft continue. In these contracts, signed in 2012 and 2014, deliveries continued until 2018.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022, the legal vacuum in the EU was completely closed. However, bridging the gap continued until the EU’s fifth package of sanctions. According to a report by the European Commission, EU countries have sold arms and ammunition to Russia worth 39 million euros in 2021, as follow: Frnace €152 million [$162 million], Germany €121.8 million [$131.7 million], Italy €22.4 million [$24.2 million], Austria €18.5 [$20 million], Bulgaria €16.5 million [$17.8 million], Czech Republic €14.3 million [$15.4 million], UK €2.4 million [$2.6 million].
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