BRUSSELS – Germany has defended France’s plan to deliver a warship to Russia in October despite US criticism of the move.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday (4 June) in Brussels that interruption of delivery might only come if the EU adopts “stage three” sanctions – economic sanctions – against Russia.
But she said the EU is not launching stage three because Russia did not stop Ukraine’s 25 May presidential elections from going ahead.
“The question of exports to Russia falls under stage three. About when to trigger stage three, if there is more destabilisation we have agreed, also myself bilaterally with the US President, that if elections take place we won’t trigger stage three. We see elections have taken place successfully, but that there were also negative elements of destabilisation [in east Ukraine],” she noted.
“If there is further destabilisation, yes, stage three – we’ve always said it,” she added.
Hollande also defended the warship contract.
He told media that none of the G7 leaders mentioned the deal. “The contract was signed in 2011 and is in the process of being completed. It will be fulfilled in October and the [first] ship will be delivered,” he said.
“Today we are executing the contract in full legal compliance because we’re not at that level of sanctions.”
Full article: Germany backs France on Russia warship contract (EU Observer)