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Australia to pay France more than $580 million to cancel submarine contract

The contract for the construction of 12 submarines worth $66 billion with Naval Group was canceled at the initiative of Australia after the announcement of the creation of the defense alliance AUKUS. Canberra announced its decision to build a submarine fleet with the US and Britain “Australia will pay France more than $580 million to break the contract for submarines” />

The Australian government will pay the French shipbuilder Naval Group $585.2 million as compensation for breaking the contract for the construction of submarines, concluded by Canberra in 2016 . This was announced by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, reports ABC.

According to the head of government, a final agreement has been reached between the Australian authorities and the French defense company Naval Group on compensation for the unilateral termination of the contract, which Canberra announced in September 2021. “The Australian Government will pay A$830m ($585.2m) in fair settlement of <…> Now we can restore [Australian-French] relations that will no longer be marred by, — Albanese said.

The prime minister also said that French President Emmanuel Macron took an active part in resolving the conflict and, after the decision on compensation, invited the Australian leader to pay an official visit to his country. “I believe that a face-to-face meeting between me and President Macron in France is absolutely necessary to reset this relationship, which is important for the national interests of Australia,” added prime.

Last September, the US, UK and Australia agreed on a new defense and security partnership, AUKUS (short for three countries), designed to counter China in the Indo-Pacific region. As a result, Australia canceled a $66 billion contract concluded with France in 2016 for the construction of 12 submarines. In return, she will receive American nuclear submarines.

France criticized the actions of the allies. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian called Australia's decision a “stab in the back” and accused of “faithful trust.” Paris then withdrew its ambassadors from the US and Australia for consultations. Naval Group, after the news of Australia's decision to build nuclear submarines with the help of the UK and the US, announced “serious disappointment”.

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The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, commenting on the actions of Australia, reminded France of how she herself in 2015 broke the contract with Russia for the supply of Mistral helicopter carrier ships. “Rupture of contracts for France seems to be a common thing. In 2015, Paris canceled a deal with Russia for two Mistral aircraft carriers. Or are only the knives that you feel in your back bad? — Zakharova asked.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, in turn, warned about the intensification of the arms race. Beijing has accused the US and Britain of nuclear proliferation.

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