Disclose: France has supplied Russia with military equipment worth €152 million since 2014
France continued to supply military equipment to Russia despite the sanctions imposed against Moscow in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea to the Russian Federation. The authorities of the country were convicted of this by journalists as part of an investigation published on the Disclose website, Kommersant drew attention to it.
According to investigators, French arms manufacturers continued to fulfill a number of contracts concluded with the Russian side until 2014. In total, from 2015 to 2020, the authorities of the republic issued about 76 licenses to their companies, which allowed them to export military equipment to Russia. First of all, it was about high-tech products and electronics. In total, goods worth 152 million euros were delivered during this time.
In particular, until 2016, the Russian army received special Matis STD video cameras from the Safran group under a contract signed in 2013. In the future, these cameras were used for the main type of Russian tanks T-72, its deep modernization T-90 and new T-80BVM. Safran also supplied Sigma 95N navigation systems for Ka-52 fighters and helicopters of the Russian Aerospace Forces (VKS).
Thermal imagers for tanks and armored vehicles were also sent to Moscow by Thales under a contract that was valid from 2007 to 2019. In 2014-2018, the same manufacturer supplied the latest TACAN navigation systems for 60 two-seat Su-30 multirole fighters and upgraded versions of MiG-29 fighters, as well as special high-tech helmets for pilots.
The French Ministry of Defense admitted that the country’s authorities did allow some companies to continue the execution of contracts after 2014. At the same time, they emphasized that by 2020 the volume of arms supplies to Russia had dropped to almost zero, and since the beginning of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, cooperation was completely stopped.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a special military operation to protect Donbass. He also turned to outside forces that might try to pose a threat to the country. Later, the United States, the European Union and a number of other countries imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and legal entities. In particular, the President, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were personally subject to restrictions.