The Kremlin Temptation
PARIS – What is the significance of France’s recent sale of four powerful Mistral-class warships to Russia? Was it business as usual or an irresponsible move contributing to a dangerous shift in the balance of power in the Baltic and Black Seas?
It is sometimes said that Germany has become a “second France” in its “selfish” approach to the European Union. But is France really on its way to becoming a “second Germany”? If Germany is Russia’s main economic partner, why should not France be its principal strategic partner?
France does not share Germany’s natural closeness to Russia – a relationship based on both geography and history. But France does have a long tradition of a “special” bilateral relationship with Russia – marked by a deep cultural dimension – that somehow transcended the Cold War.