Medvedev, Putin, and the Mistral

From the Weekly Standard: So, according to this new Russian military doctrine, France – as a NATO state – is now officially an enemy of Moscow. "With ‘enemies’ like France selling super-modern assault ships," opined one Moscow military analyst, "Russian doesn’t need ‘friends’ like Venezuela, Iran or Cuba."

The Mistral sale has been discussed between the DCNS and the Russian Navy for some time now. Depending on its configuration, the Mistral carries a price tag of some €300-500 million (or $404 to $670 million), which would be the largest sale ever of military hardware to Russia by a NATO member state. Georgian sources told me that the French manufacturer, DCNS, will attempt to make the deal appear innocuous by proposing to sell Russia an "empty" vessel that is not equipped with the same advanced electronics as those in service already with the Marine Nationale. In reality, they will install these same systems as an after-sale retrofit once the ship has already been delivered to the Russian Navy. (photo:

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