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France loses mega-contract for submarines with Australia

France was torpedoed, and she saw nothing coming. In 2016, Australia selected the French Naval Group to supply 12 conventional (non-nuclear) propulsion submarines. With an initial amount of 50 billion Australian dollars (31 billion euros), then revalued to 56 billion euros, the agreement was described as “contract of the century”.

But this Thursday, this beautiful promise was sent from the bottom. The Australian Prime Minister has indeed confirmed that he is breaking the agreement with France. Instead, Australia will procure nuclear-powered submarines from the British and Americans. This decision is linked to the announcement on Wednesday of a vast security partnership in the Indo-Pacific zone between the three countries (Australia, United States, United Kingdom).

France KO

Of course, French diplomacy accuses the blow. “It’s really a blow in the back”, regretted the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian on France Info. “This unlilateral, brutal, unpredictable decision is very similar to what Mr. Trump was doing,” he added.

“In terms of geopolitics and international politics, it is serious”, denounced on RFI the Minister of the Armies Florence Parly, who also said to be “lucid on the way in which the United States treats its allies”. It is not certain that Paris consoles itself with the conciliatory remarks of Joe Biden, who assured Wednesday that the United States wanted “to work closely with France” in this very strategic zone of the Pacific. Paris “is a key partner” of the United States, affirmed the American president.

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