Frankrike bygger to krigsskip for Russland og nå ber USA Frankrike om ikke å levere dem. Men Frankrike nekter.
State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told press in Washington on Monday (12 May) «we have expressed our concerns to the French government over the sale. We’ll continue to do so».
«Obviously, as you know, there are sanctions that have been put in place. I’d have to specifically check here to see if there’s a legal question or if this is just a question of whether we find this to be unhelpful.»
For its part, France has ruled out an arms embargo on Russia even if it invades eastern Ukraine or disrupts its 25 May presidential elections.
The Mistral ships were sold to Russia for €1.2 billion shortly after its invasion of Georgia in 2008.
A Russian admiral later said he could have won the war in «40 minutes instead of 26 hours» if he had had them earlier.
A French official told Reuters on Monday the first of the vessels will be delivered to Russia in the fourth quarter of this year. «The contract has been paid and there would be financial penalties for not delivering it,» he said.
Psaki noted that, France aside, the US is «working in lockstep with the EU to put in place consequences for the illegal and illegitimate actions of Russia».
EU ministers the same day expanded their Russia blacklist from 48 to 61 people and two Crimean companies.