September 30, 2023


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France and Germany armed Russia with £230 million military gear before Ukraine invasion | World | News

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Moscow gained €273 million (£230 million) of military components including bombs, rockets, missiles and guns regardless of a weapons embargo released by Brussels next the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, an EU investigation shared with the Telegraph has exposed. Previously this thirty day period, the European Commission was pressured to near a loophole in its blockade after it was discovered that at minimum 10 member states exported €350 million (£294 million) to Russia.

It was unveiled that 78 p.c of the corporations included in marketing weapons to Russia ended up French and German.

It is remarkably most likely that some of the weapons they marketed are becoming utilised by Russian troops in the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

German companies alone had marketed €121 million (£107 million) of “dual-use” tools, such as rifles and special safety autos to Moscow.

Berlin defended its steps with reference to an ambiguity inside of the EU’s 2014 arms blockade.

It insisted that the merchandise have been bought only following the Kremlin confirmed they ended up for civilian alternatively than army use.

A spokesman for the country’s economic system ministry described: “If there were indications of any kind of army use, the export licences have been not granted.”

France was observed to have sent shipments well worth €152 million (£128 million) to Russia, as component of 76 export licences.

Paris authorized exporters to entire contracts agreed in advance of 2014, making use of a technicality in the EU embargo, the report revealed. 

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Along with bombs, rockets and torpedoes, French companies sent thermal imaging cameras for far more than 1,000 Russian tanks as effectively as navigation methods for fighter jets and attack helicopters.

Pursuing the get started of the Russian invasion on February 24, the EU has launched even more limits on the export of dual-use things to Russia, closing the loophole.

On the other hand, it wasn’t till the fifth round of sanctions, explained as the “most draconian ever”, that the exemption on previously agreed arms profits to Russia was scrapped.

The loophole, which finally closed on April 8, was only shut immediately after mounting protests from Baltic and jap European EU member states. 

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Envoys from Poland and Lithuania ensured the text of the original 2014 arms embargo was amended when it was uncovered that weapons were however arriving into Russia.

The French govt did not remark on its use of the exemption, but has previously defended the use of the “grandfather” clause.

According to European Fee data, EU countries previous calendar year sold Russia weapons and ammunition well worth €39 million (£33 million) as Russia geared up for its invasion of Ukraine.

Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the Commons defence committee, informed the Telegraph that all NATO member states need to be forced to declare they are not sending arms to Russia at the Madrid summit in June.

He explained: “If we concur Russia now offers an existential threat to European stability, then there is no excuse for any European state to continue supplying Russia arms.”

Admiral Lord West of Spithead, a former First Sea Lord advised the Telegraph the steps of EU states offering arms to Russia as a result of loopholes had been “stupid”.

He explained: “Using loopholes to avoid the EU arms embargo of Russia publish the Crimean invasion is efficiently a crime and breathtakingly silly.”


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