The Russia-Ukraine war has been a long and complex one. While the Ukrainian government has been trying its best to take back the occupied territories, it has been receiving little to no support from the international community. However, one country that has been playing a key but a secret role in the conflict is France.
Yes, France has been secretly supplying Russia with critical defence equipment and has clearly made a mockery of Western support for Ukraine.
France Assists Russia!
Recent reports have revealed that Thales, a French state company, supplied Catherine FC thermal imaging cameras to Russia, which were used to manufacture the Essa, Plissa, and Sosna-U thermal sighting systems. These systems were used to enhance the combat capabilities of modified Russian T-80, T-90, T-72 tanks and other military vehicles. It can be assumed that this action was taken in order to help the Russian forces in the war.
According to NGO Disclose, the company delivered 258 and 83 infrared detectors (S02) to Russia’s CJSC TPK Linkos in 2016.
According to the Arms of Russia information service, Linkos is a firm that develops and produces goods for computers, communications equipment, optical, optical, electronic, and microwave systems and complexes, night vision equipment, and quantum electronics.
In the deal, 138 infrared detectors (S10) were delivered by Sofradir to the Russian Federal Institute of Applied Optics, which creates and manufactures optical and electronic equipment.
It is important to mention here that an EU Council decision prohibits Russia from acquiring goods or technologies with dual uses. This law has a flaw that you might find interesting: it states that the approved state authority may award a license to deliver such things under contracts made before August 1, 2014.
And the French company Thales took full advantage of the situation, purposely extending earlier contracts through new agreements and supplying military goods from 2015 to 2018.
Apart from this, France has also been very vocal in supporting Russia in different ways. When Joe Biden threatened to use nuclear weapons against Russia, France was the only European country that declared that it would not attack Russia even if the latter used nuclear weapons.
Read More: Macron takes #FRAXIT to a nuclear level, a link with Russia can’t be denied
Furthermore, France has also been involved in talks with Putin in order to reach a diplomatic solution to the conflict. If we talk of weapons aid to Ukraine, France has been nothing but a passive observer.
As the US and European nations delivered weapons to Ukraine, it was said that France might send its Leclerc main battle tanks too. However, the French government was sceptical about how useful the Leclerc tanks would be since the Ukrainian military was already struggling with comprehending the technicalities of other tanks such as Germany’s Leopard 2 and Britain’s Challenger 2. France even mocked Ukraine, suggesting that they had not yet grasped the basics of operating these tanks.
Unlike other European countries, which have been fueling the war by pouring all sorts of aid into Ukraine, France has stayed firm on its stance. France has been repeatedly accused of not providing enough security assistance to Kyiv, as the country has always prioritized its national interests over anything else.
All these points point out the same thing, France has never really backed Ukraine and has been silently supporting Russia all throughout these months of the war. And, as the war between Russia and Ukraine continues, it has become blatantly clear that France has taken a side, and it is not Ukraine’s.
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