For the latest news reports, see
Isabelle Lassarre, “Mistral : le scénario qui inquiète les autorités françaises,” Le Figaro, 20 Novembre 2014.
For background, see
(1) “Mistral Warships: U.S. Congress should ban defense contracts with France until Hollande guarantees non-delivery to Russia,” The Trenchant Bserver, November 17, 2014.
(2) “Update on Delivery of Mistral-Class Warship “The Vladilovstok” to Russia: François Hollande’s unilateral “conditions” for delivery, and the high risk of a treacherous fait accompli,” The Trenchant Observer, October 30, 2014.
(3) “The End of NATO: France proceeds with plans to deliver the first of two Mistral-class warships to Russia,” The Trenchant Observer, October 29, 2014.
(4) Le Nouvel Observateur: The scandalous history and details of the sale of two Mistral-class attack warships to Russia, August 16, 2014.
(5) “Ukraine — EU imposes serious sanctions on Russia: Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 of 31 July 2014 —- with link to full text,” The Trenchant Observer, August 1, 2014.
The treachery of Francois Hollande knows no bounds.
Now he has arranged a mysterious set of circumstances that will allow the Mistral-class warship”The Vladilovstok” to slip out of the harbor at Saint Nazaire under the control of the Russian crew France has trained, blaming it all on some misunderstanding he had no control over.
The Russian crew have now placed their personal belongings on the “The Vladilovstok”.
The ship is very likely to sail, surrepticiously, in a manner which seeks to allow Holland to claim he never decided to deliver the ship to Russia.
Consider these facts:
1. An invitation from the French went out on October 8 for a delivery ceremony on bNovember 14.
2. The ship’s tracking number was changed to Russian ownership within the last week, and then changed back again.
3. The Russian crew apparently turned off the esignal that allows the ship to be tracked by satellite on one or two occasions, in the last week or so.
4. The sister ship, “The Sevastopol”, which is due for delivery to Russia in 2015, was put put into the water earlier this week, taking the berth in Saint Nazaire of “The Vladilovstok”, which has now moved to a staging area near the entrance to the harbor.
All of these unusual coincidences point to one conclusion: Hollande will allow “The Vladilovstok” to sail in the next few days.
To stop this from happening, NATO and NATO member states should demand that the France take the following steps:
1. The Russian crew shoukd be ordered to remove their personal gear from the Vladilovstok, under military supervision, and should not be alliwed to board the ship again. They should return to Russia until further notice.
2. The ship should be moved by a French crew to a secure berth where it will remain until a new purchaser is found.
3. European and world media should be all over this story, night and day, and maintain a stakeout to ensure that the ship does not “slip away’ in the middle of the night.
4. Hollande should formally commit to NATO not to deliver the warship to Russia without first discussing his decision at a ministerial meeting of NATO.
Hollande’s perfidy has gone far enough. He must be stopped, by other NATO members, from sneaking delivery of “The Vladilovstok’ to Russia, through whatever subterfuge he can find.
The Russian media are paying extremely close attention to the delivery.
Cancelation of delivery woukd bring home to Putin the real costs of his military aggression against the Ukraine.
Delivery, however disingenuous the means, would confirm that appeasement rules in the West, and Russia has little to fear from further aggression.
The Trenchant Observer