France rebukes Australia after it ditches submarine deal
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 15: French President Emmanuel Macron (R) welcomes Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison (L) prior to a working dinner at the Elysee Presidential Palace on June 15, 2021.
Getty Images LONDON — France is not holding back showing its disappointment with Australia after it abruptly ended a submarine contract in order to sign a new deal with the U.S. and U.K. “It was a stab in the back.| Getty Images News | Getty Images
LONDON — France is not holding back showing its disappointment with Australia after it abruptly ended a submarine contract in order to sign a new deal with the U.S. and U.K.
“It was a stab in the back. It had been a trusting relationship with Australia. France’s foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday that this trust had been betrayed.
According to Reuters in 2016, Australia signed a contract to develop a new fleet with French shipbuilder Naval Group. Two weeks prior to the signing of this agreement, both parties had agreed. But Canberra decided to end the agreement and unite with Britain and the U.S.
The three countries announced late Wednesday a security partnership in which Australia will be receiving new submarines powered by nuclear energy. France and Australia would receive conventional submarines under the agreement.
We intend to construct these submarines at Adelaide, in close collaboration with the U.K. On Twitter, Scott Morrison stated that Australia was not looking to acquire nuclear weapons.
France 24, which he referred to as a “good friend” said that France was a “good partnership” and that the deal was motivated “by a changed strategic context.”
These words will not be enough to calm the French ills.
“The American choice which leads to the removal of an ally and a European partner like France from structuring a partnership with Australia, at a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges in the Indo-Pacific region … marks an absence of coherence that France can only observe and regret,” France’s ministers of foreign affairs and the armed forces said in a joint statement on Thursday.
The statement also said that the latest developments intensify the need for European strategic autonomy — the idea that the EU should become more independent with its defense and security policies.
On Thursday, the European Commission (the EU’s executive branch) will present its Indo-Pacific strategy.