Thursday, 27 January 2011

France Arms Russian Navy

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In what has been described as “the first sale to Russia of such technology by a NATO country,” French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Tuesday that France had finalized and signed an agreement with the Russian Federation for the purchase of four Mistral class amphibious assault ships to the Russian Navy.

Until this agreement, the bulk of Russia’s naval fleet was comprised of old ships from the Soviet Union’s Red Fleet. Now, Russia will acquire vessels from a Western European country configured with NATO technology, which was made available through the collaborative effort of member states — predominately the United States.

“But does Russia need navy ships of this class? The General Staff is confident — most certainly, as Russia does not have this kind of technology,” Russia’s state-run newspaper Pravada reported.