So how are those international sanctions against Russia going?

posted at 5:21 pm on May 13, 2014 by Bruce McQuain

Ask France:

France will press ahead with a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell helicopter carriers to Russia because cancelling the deal would do more damage to Paris than to Moscow, French diplomatic sources said on Monday.

France has come under pressure from Washington and some European partners to reconsider its supply of high-tech military hardware to Moscow. It had said it would review the deal in October – but not before.

However, French diplomatic sources said on Monday the 2011 contract with Russia for two Mistral helicopter carriers, with an option for two more, would not be part of a third round of sanctions against Moscow.

“The Mistrals are not part of the third level of sanctions. They will be delivered. The contract has been paid and there would be financial penalties for not delivering it.

“It would be France that is penalized. It’s too easy to say France has to give up on the sale of the ships. We have done our part.”

And, we can’t have the sanctions hurt France, can we?

One of the attack helicopter carriers will be deployed in the Black Sea, where all the trouble began:

The first carrier, the Vladivostok, is due to be delivered by the last quarter of 2014. The second, named Sebastopol after the Crimean seaport, is supposed to be delivered by 2016.

How does France justify its intention to provide the ships?

“We are not delivering armed warships, but only the frame of the ship,” the source said.

That, of course, misses the entire point of sanctions.  It is a punishment for wrong behavior. It is supposed to be a way one side teaches the other not to do what it has done.  And the Western powers agreed that “strong sanctions” be imposed because of Russia’s unacceptable behavior.  Now we see the exceptions being made – exceptions that Russia will, rightfully, view as weakness.

Additionally, that “frame” the French are dismissing as inconsequential will give Russia access to advanced technology.  Additionally, these “frames” have quite a potent capability.  The Mistral can carry up to 16 attack helicopters, such as Russia’s Kamov Ka-50/52; more than 40 tanks or 70 motor vehicles; and up to 700 soldiers.

As for leadership from the US insisting that the French not provide the Russians with advanced weaponry?

A French government source said at no point had the U.S. officially expressed any concern over the sale …

Another example of why “strong sanctions” is, in reality, an oxymoron, especially when the Western powers are concerned.

~McQ


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Sanctions almost never work. It has nothing to do with the quality or the level of the sanctions. They weren’t going to work better if France decided not to sell helo carriers to Russia.

Pincher Martin on May 13, 2014 at 5:23 PM

From Havana to Moscow

Disinformation is the key word.

What the West aims for, except for the looters.

Schadenfreude on May 13, 2014 at 5:23 PM

G R E A T !

KOOLAID2 on May 13, 2014 at 5:24 PM

So how are those international sanctions against Russia going?

#NotSoGood

Electrongod on May 13, 2014 at 5:24 PM

About as effective as a strongly worded #Hashtag

and I thought the strongly worded letter from the UN was as low as you could go.

Snowblind on May 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

I dunno, arming the Russians with French equipment could pay off in our favor. Any way we can also trick the Russians into accepting French military advisors?

JeremiahJohnson on May 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Make Russian And Chinese obligatory subjects starting in pre-school. The children will need them.

Annar on May 13, 2014 at 5:26 PM

As for leadership from the US insisting that the French not provide the Russians with advanced weaponry?

A French government source said at no point had the U.S. officially expressed any concern over the sale …

…they didn’t hear JugEars yell…F O R E…???

KOOLAID2 on May 13, 2014 at 5:26 PM

Hey, don’t bag on the French, it ain’t easy hopping on those frog legs.

Tard on May 13, 2014 at 5:28 PM

So how are those international sanctions against Russia going?

Probably about as well as the Obamanation Administrations Hashtag Diplomacy

oscarwilde on May 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Hey, NASA of obama, keep promoting those Muslim studies and other PC crap.

And, Congratulations!!!

Schadenfreude on May 13, 2014 at 5:31 PM

France will press ahead with a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.66 billion) contract to sell helicopter carriers to Russia because cancelling the deal would do more damage to Paris than to Moscow, French diplomatic sources said on Monday.

Why is this news? France and Russia were selling arms to Iraq (including missile jammers) even as the invasion forces were forming. France has always been open selling weaponry to anybody without concern how those weapons are used.

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2014 at 5:32 PM

Dude, I’m still trying to figure out what Russia’s done in this instance that is any concern of ours.

If (god forbid) we finally tried making Puerto Rico a State, how would we feel if Russia started sticking their nose in the Caribbean?

Also, we’re going to stop Russia, when in Syria (yeah, that Syria) the fighting continues despite O’Kerry’s claim of victory.

Lance Corvette on May 13, 2014 at 5:34 PM

France passed sesrets to the Serbs during Allied Force. The one country I probably hated worst in Europe was France, they are just like libruls in America.

Sven on May 13, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Another example of why “strong sanctions” is, in reality, an oxymoron, especially when the Western powers are concerned.

Why is this surprising?

A British company (Serco) that incompetently manages services for the NHS in the UK is under contract to the US Govt. and pays data entry employees to do nothing at Obamacare centers in this country.

workingclass artist on May 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM

I dunno, arming the Russians with French equipment could pay off in our favor. Any way we can also trick the Russians into accepting French military advisors?

JeremiahJohnson on May 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Say what you want about the French Leadership, but their armaments isn’t *all* bad.

Selling them “pocket” carriers, especially those that are *just* right for Soviet Naval Infantry and supporting landing incursions. Seems well timed for their Ukrainian Offensive.

BlaxPac on May 13, 2014 at 5:42 PM

Now, a smart President would offer to buy the ships for $1.7 billion, put American helicopters and pilots on them, then send them to the Black Sea.

That’s what a smart President would do, but we have Obama. Tee time?

Steve Z on May 13, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Hey, NASA of obama, keep promoting those Muslim studies and other PC crap.

And, Congratulations!!!

Schadenfreude on May 13, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Americans to be banned from the space station.

Thanks Obama.

Why don’t you give Alaska back as well?

MichaelGabriel on May 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Let’s remember even as Americans were preparing to go into Baghdad as part of an international coalition, Jacques Iraq Chirac who was a personal friend of Putin and was selling radar jammers to Saddam even as invasion was all but inevitable. The French are a disgusting amoral people with a good PR team. Even today there was a story about the number of French Jews in Israel because anti-seminism is on the rise since the Muslims have taken over.

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM

As though Vlad really cares.

Like our gummint Obamacare is the Peon’s problem not theirs.

viking01 on May 13, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Oopsie! You mean sanctions work both ways?

butch on May 13, 2014 at 5:39 PM

Saw this quote over there Pretty funny.

#FirstBlackPresidentEvictedFromSpace! #historic#precedent

At least we can count on the Chinese to launch our military satellites…..

MichaelGabriel on May 13, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Americans to be banned from the space station.

MichaelGabriel on May 13, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Not banned. Americans just don’t have a ride to get there.

Space X- you paying attention here?

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2014 at 5:53 PM

Did anyone expect sanctions to work?

crankyoldlady on May 13, 2014 at 5:58 PM

So, uh, Hillary…

Did that “reset” button malfunction, or something?

Archangel Nation on May 13, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Russian “Ministry of Finance is ready to greenlight a plan to radically increase the role of the Russian ruble in export operations while reducing the share of dollar-denominated transactions. Governmental sources believe that the Russian banking sector is “ready to handle the increased number of ruble-denominated transactions”.

According to the Prime news agency, on April 24th the government organized a special meeting dedicated to finding a solution for getting rid of the US dollar in Russian export operations. Top level experts from the energy sector, banks and governmental agencies were summoned and a number of measures were proposed as a response for American sanctions against Russia.”

“Of course, the success of Moscow’s campaign to switch its trading to rubles or other regional currencies will depend on the willingness of its trading partners to get rid of the dollar. Sources cited by Politonline.ru mentioned two countries who would be willing to support Russia: Iran and China. Given that Vladimir Putin will visit Beijing on May 20, it can be speculated that the gas and oil contracts that are going to be signed between Russia and China will be denominated in rubles and yuan, not dollars.”

Viator on May 13, 2014 at 6:38 PM

And, we can’t have the sanctions hurt France, can we?

Why should they?

Sanctions are utterly meaningless, don’t work, and won’t stop the Russians from acting…so why pay any significant cost for cheap political posing?

The French aren’t the morons here.

sharrukin on May 13, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Hmmm…can you drop an aircraft carrier?

vnvet on May 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM

vnvet on May 13, 2014 at 6:41 PM

The Russians would know.

They have experience with breaking carriers as the Indians will attest to. That’s why the Russians went shopping somewhere else.

cozmo on May 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM

The most important sanction is to protect the clean flow of IMF bailout money moving in the direction of the EU banks who hold Ukrainian debt

The IMF will then take over the Ukrainian debt, and can begin collecting debt re payment from Ukraine. Which Ukraine will no doubt get by giving fracking leases to Big Oil

Fulfilling the military contracts is a way to prime the pump, so to speak

Money for arms will flow from Russia to France, which has probably long ago spent the money they expected from Russia

And the first chunk of IMF bailout money goes to – yes, Russia – to pay the overdue Ukraine gas bill

Nothing has a greater will to live than a bunch of crooked banksters

entagor on May 13, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Obama’s strong sanctions = Obama’s hitting free throws with no defense.

IOW, 2 for 24…..or less.

jukin3 on May 13, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Let’s hope the CIA can sabotage it somehow, maybe with defective rivets or other structural components, or some engine parts.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2014 at 8:26 PM

And, we can’t have the sanctions hurt France, can we?

If you’re a French politician, that’s not fodder for a sarcastic line, it’s common sense.

America does huge business with China, little with Russia, while the Europeans have important trade relations with Russia. Of course the Americans are all for sanctions that will screw up their economic competitors but that won’t hurt them. But why should the French agree?

David Blue on May 13, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Europe needs to get its act together. We can’t back them up when they are willing to sell Putin the Thug, the very weapons of war that might be used against us. The French have a bad history of doing dumb thing such as this. How many nuclear reactors has Israel had to destroy in the past 30 years that they were helping Arab nations build?

SC.Charlie on May 13, 2014 at 8:28 PM

So how are those international sanctions against Russia going?

Slava!

Dr. ZhivBlago on May 13, 2014 at 8:56 PM

American sponsored anti-democratic fascist coup in Ukraine not discredited enough yet: Biden on the job!

The younger Biden that is
:

Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, has expanded its Board of Directors by bringing on Mr. R Hunter Biden as a new director.

R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”

Joe helps destabilize the country and install a junta so oligarchs can loot the place better than they were already doing, and in comes young Hunter to share in the plunder.

“…matters of transparency…” … Yeah, I’d say this is pretty transparent.

David Blue on May 13, 2014 at 9:10 PM

How do people defend this? This is one of the worst things America has done since British MI6 and the CIA knocked over the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mosaddeq in Iran in 1953.

If the morality of that doesn’t bother you, how about the long term cost / benefit? Did Iran turn into a nice, friendly country in the long run? Is it of benefit to America?

David Blue on May 13, 2014 at 9:55 PM

Mosaddeq was going to nationalize Iranian oil. Yanukovych was going to sign a trade deal with Russia which was better than the one that the EU was offering.

Are things like this acceptable reasons for smashing democracies? I don’t think so.

David Blue on May 13, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Of course, if these helicopter carriers are like their CVN Charles de Gaulle, the Russkies may regret their purchase.

See the chapter “Ship of Fools” in The Frog Surrenders

dreadnought62 on May 13, 2014 at 10:03 PM