Kiev accuses French group of circumventing sanctions and selling military material to Russia


An adviser to the Ukrainian presidency accused this Friday the French company Thales of circumventing sanctions and selling to Russia, in 2015, material currently used to kill civilians in Ukraine, a situation denied by the group that manufactures defense equipment.

“A family that was trying to flee was killed by Russian assassins. Killed, as is now proven, with French weapons sold to circumvent sanctions in 2015,” Mikhailo Podolyak, adviser to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, said via the network. social Twitter.

The French company Thales denied having circumvented the sanctions against Russia to the French news agency AFP (AFP).

“Thales has always strictly complied with French and international regulations, including with regard to the application of the 2014 European sanctions against Russia”, assured the French group.

“No defense equipment export contracts have been signed with Russia since 2014 and no deliveries have been made to Russia since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine,” Thales said, adding that he had decided to end his activities in Russia.

In the post on Twitter, Mikhailo Podolyak shares a video by a Ukrainian blogger, Pavlo Kachchuk, who analyzes the damage done to a car in which the body of a dead woman was found in Bucha, near Kiev.

“How can poorly trained Russian soldiers shoot so accurately with old post-Soviet equipment?” he asks in the video, adding: “The answer was found in Vorzel (near Bucha) where our troops, after the Russian withdrawal , captured BMD-4 armored vehicles”.

These armored vehicles are equipped with “fire control systems that allow them to fire with great precision regardless of the weather, the wind or even the time of day. Components and technology sold to the Russian Federation by the French company Thales”, adds the blogger.

The video also shows a thermal camera that Pavlo Kachchuk claims was recovered from an abandoned Russian tank, with the Thales logo visible, accompanied by the date 16/06 and the words “made in Russia” [feito na Rússia, em português].

“It was assembled in Russia under license”, accuses the blogger. “This is just one of many schemes that allow French companies to circumvent the embargo,” he shot.

These accusations come after several online media reported in mid-March that France delivered military equipment, including thermal cameras, to Russia between 2015 and 2020, that is, after the European sanctions that followed the annexation of Crimea. by Moscow.

The French Armed Forces reacted at the time, explaining that these were contracts concluded before the sanctions adopted in July 2014 and that France had the right to carry out, under a clause allowing a contract concluded before the annexation of Crimea by the Russians can come to an end.

Since the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation in 2014, the European Union has imposed an embargo on arms sales, but France has continued to sell them, arguing for the fulfillment of contracts signed before this date.

Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine on February 24 that has killed more than 2,000 civilians, according to UN data, which warns that the real number is likely to be much higher.

The military offensive has already caused more than 12 million people to flee, more than 5 million of them out of the country, according to the latest UN data – the worst refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War (1939 -1945).


Source: Correio da Manhã by www.cmjornal.pt.

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