Crisis in Crimea: France freezes Russian rearmament, Kiev has only six thousand soldiers in its defense


The agreement from 1,6 billion euros for the supply of two Mistral class warships for the Russian Navy could also jump.

This was stated by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in an interview with the broadcaster TF1 and taken up by all Russian networks. Fabius denied the legitimacy of last Sunday's referendum and invited Moscow to take urgent measures to avoid "useless and dangerous escalation" in Ukraine.

It is also true, added Fabius, that the loss of the contract with Moscow could negatively affect the French economy.

The foreign minister explained to journalists that this move would be part of the "phase three" of economic sanctions against Moscow. To date, Fabius concluded, we are in phase two.

Paris has also invited the United Kingdom to "do something equivalent with the activities of the Russian oligarchs in London".

The White House and the European Union have already announced sanctions against separatist leaders in the Crimea, modeling restrictive measures on people who have determined the current context in Ukraine. Brussels has commissioned sanctions for 21 people (Russian 13 and Ukrainian 8 of Crimea) "because they are held responsible for actions that have undermined the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine". Moscow, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and some key figures of the Russian government such as Vladislav Surkov, Sergey Glazyev and Leonid Slutsky.

Vladimir Putin, who has already signed the decree recognizing Crimea as an independent state, formally informed the Russian parliament of the request for the annexation of the new federal subject with republic status. The city of Sevastopol, which hosts an important Russian naval base for which Moscow paid Ukraine less than $ 100 million a year, would have a special status within the republic.

Meanwhile, chilling details emerge on the real state of the Ukrainian military force. The Kiev government has asked the United States, but it would be correct to say pleaded, a military aid.

The Ukrainian Defense Forces are composed of obsolete and hunting tanks, few of which are able to fly. Kiev, could scarcely have nearly six thousand trained and trained men.

However, they are very delicate hours.

Will Washington be dragged into what could effectively turn into a new Vietnam?

The supply of arms to the Ukrainian government would be only the first step that would inevitably lead to the deployment of large-scale troops.


Canada also ordered sanctions and freezing assets for officials close to President Putin, including Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and Crimean pro-Moscow leader Sergei Aksyonov.

"The individuals concerned are responsible for undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and facilitating Russian military action against the country". This is what we read in an excerpt of the press release issued by the Canadian government. Canada also added that it had suspended military cooperation with Russia at the beginning of March.


'Mistral' class amphibious assault helicopters

According to the contract, the Russian Navy should receive its first 'Mistral' class amphibious assault helicopter carrier from France on November 1st.

The 'Vladivostok', under construction at the DCNS shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, was launched on 15 last October. Russia and France signed in the 2011, a contract of 1,6 billion dollars for two Mistral class helicopter carriers.

Each Russian 'Mistral' class will carry sixteen Kamov Ka-52K attack helicopters, fourteen Ka-29 transport helicopters, four assault ships or seventy armored vehicles and 450 soldiers. The second Mistral-class ship, Sevastopol, according to contract, should become part of the Black Sea Fleet by the 2015.

Franco Iacch

(in the photo: a 'Mistral' class - source: Marine nationale)