France Cancelled Mistral Deal Under Pressure From Poland, East-European NATO Allies

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:33 PM, September 30, 2015
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France Cancelled Mistral Deal Under Pressure From Poland, East-European NATO Allies
Mistral-class amphibious assault ship

Poland and other East-European NATO allies threatened to cancel defence deals with France if it sold the Mistral Warship to Russia.

This information has been revealed in recently released transcripts from the French Senate's International Affairs Committee that Eastern European NATO member states have put "significant pressure" to scrap the USD$ 1.3 billion deal with Russia.

France agreed to scrap the deal of selling of two Mistral assault ships to Russia, despite the fact that it would cost the country financially. "We experienced significant pressure from the East-European countries, not to mention the Baltic States, within the NATO Parliamentary Assembly." the Committee's spokesman Robert del Picchia said during a Senate debate on the issue on September 23, reports Sputnik news.

"Poland had indeed threatened to break off negotiations with France that covered 50 Caracal helicopters worth USD$2.5 billion, if we delivered the ships," del Pichia added.

The revelation confirms suspicions that France was pressured into backing out of the deal by NATO allies for political reasons.

After the deal with Russia being cancelled French President Francois Hollande last week announced "principle and terms of the purchase" had been met with Egypt for the two vessels. The re-sale is aimed at offsetting French costs to Russia, with Paris repaying Moscow about USD$1 billion for breaching the contract.

Despite agreeing to re-sell the vessels to Egypt, France still may set to suffer financially as a result of the broken deal with Russia, with the country's Senate finance committee admitting the bungled agreement would be costly.

"If the agreement with Egypt to resell the ships is implemented, it will cost the nation's budget USD $224 million to $280 million.” Hollande added.

The deal to sell the two Mistrals to Russia was signed by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011, but was cancelled by Hollande in September 2014.

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