France, Russia Sign Mistral Agreement
Arvamus 26 Jan 2011  EWR
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Vladimir Socor, Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 8 Issue: 18 January 26, 2011

“Paris is well-worth a [Catholic] mass” (“Paris vaut-bien une messe”), King Henri IV, a Protestant, remarked when told that his attendance at a Catholic Church service was the price for his acceptance by the Parisians. That remark is recorded as the epitome of crass political expediency. Updating on it, French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, declared on January 25 that Russia’s procurement of four French Mistral-class warships was worth 1,500 French jobs over a four-year period. Inasmuch as this transaction undermines NATO’s cohesion and authority, it follows that 1,500 French jobs are worth as much as these Allied values, or more than these.

On January 25 in Saint-Nazaire, the French naval shipyard STX and Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation signed an agreement for Russian procurement of two French Mistral-class warships. In an accompanying joint declaration, the French and Russian governments “agree to give their full support to the construction of two [warships] in France and two in Russia” (Interfax, Agence France Presse, January 25).

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