France delivered military equipment to Russia between 2015 and 2020 despite the embargo in force since 2014 on the country following the illegal annexation of Crimea, the website Disclosure pointed out on Monday, while the Ministry of Armed Forces assured that it corresponded to past contracts and therefore authorized.
France granted at least 76 licenses for the export of military equipment to Russia since 2015 for a total of 152 million euros, a figure that the Parliament already provided in its last report without specifying what it corresponded to.
According to documents obtained by Disclosure, France mainly sent thermal cameras intended to equip more than 1,000 Russian tanks, as well as navigation systems and infrared detectors for Russian fighters and combat helicopters.
The main beneficiaries of these markets were the companies Thales and Safran, in which the French state is the main shareholder.
The EU imposed an embargo on arms bound for Russia in August 2014 following the annexation of Crimea, the self-proclamation of the pro-Russian separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk two months later and the downing of a plane with 298 passengers on board in Ukraine.
The trial for that tragedy began in June 2021 in the Netherlands and the prosecution considers it proven with sufficient evidence that the aircraft was shot down with a Russian-made Buk missile.
Disclosure noted that both the governments of socialist François Hollande (2012-2017) and liberal Emmanuel Macron took advantage of the fact that the embargo was not retroactive, so deliveries signed before its coming into force could continue.