Germany and France armed Russia with 273 million euros cache
France and Germany armed Russia with 273 million euros of military hardware likely to be used in Ukrainea EU Analysis shared with The Daily Telegraph and published last night.
Despite an EU-wide embargo on arms sales to Russia imposed after the 2014 annexation of Crimea, they sent equipment including bombs, rockets, missiles and cannons to Moscow.
The European Commission was forced to close a loophole in its blockade this month after it was discovered that at least 10 member states were exporting nearly €350 million worth of hardware to Vladimir Putin’s regime – 78 percent of it from German and French firms.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was heavily criticized this week for refusing to supply heavy weapons to Ukraine. While French President Emmanuel Macron’s attempt to negotiate with Putin has accused him of appeasement.
Both Paris and Berlin have resisted an EU ban on buying gas from Russia, with the bloc currently paying Moscow €1 billion a day for energy supplies.
The EU report comes as Boris Johnson warned in New Delhi yesterday that Russia could still win the war when he announced plans to send British tanks to Poland so Ukraine can get Warsaw’s Soviet-era T-72 models could. Asked if Russia could win the war in Ukraine, the British prime minister conceded that it was a “realistic possibility” and that Moscow was close to capturing Mariupol.
Putin yesterday told Charles Michel, President of the European Council, that the marines holed up in the Azovstal steelworks should live if they surrender.
Meanwhile, Mr Scholz pointed to the threat of nuclear war in response to critics of Berlin’s reluctance to supply Ukraine with high-powered weapons.
The criticism intensified when it became known that German companies had exploited the loophole in the EU arms export ban on Russia to sell dual-use equipment, including rifles and armored vehicles, worth 121 million euros to Moscow.
Berlin defended its use of ambiguity within the EU’s 2014 arms blockade, insisting the goods were only sold after the Kremlin guaranteed they were for civilian use, not military use.
“If there were indications of military use, the export licenses were not granted,” said a spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Economics.
It was also found that France was responsible for sending shipments worth 152 million euros to Russia under 76 export licenses.
Paris allowed exporters to fulfill contracts agreed before 2014 using a backdoor technique under the EU embargo.
In addition to bombs, rockets and torpedoes, French companies supplied thermal imaging cameras for over 1,000 Russian tanks and navigation systems for fighter jets and helicopters.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the EU has introduced further restrictions on the export of dual-use goods to Moscow, closing the loophole once used by German firms.
But it took the bloc until its fifth package of sanctions, described as the most draconian Brussels has ever introduced, to scrap the waiver on previously agreed arms sales to Russia.
The French government has not commented on its use of the derogation, but previously defended the grandfather clause. The loophole, which was finally closed on April 8, was only closed after protests from the Baltic and Eastern member states.
Envoys from Poland and Lithuania ensured the text of the 2014 arms embargo was changed when it emerged that arms were still pouring into Russia. According to the European Commission, EU countries sold 39 million euros worth of arms and ammunition to Russia last year as the Kremlin prepared for its invasion of Ukraine.
Cristian Terhes, a Romanian MEP who shared the EU analysis, said: “While Ukraine desperately cries out for arms to defend itself against Putin’s invasion, Germany and France are silent but have been happy enough to quietly and shamefully deliver their goods to Moscow.” for sale. ”
Tobias Ellwood, chairman of Britain’s Commons Defense Committee, said all NATO countries should declare at a summit in June that they are not sending arms to Russia because “Russia poses an existential threat to European security”.
Telegraph Media Group Limited 
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/germany-and-france-armed-russia-with-273m-cache-41579264.html Germany and France armed Russia with 273 million euros cache