France and Australia want to turn page on Aukus crisis

The Australian Foreign and Defense Ministers went to Paris to “rebuild the relationship” between Paris and Canberra and agreed to deliver shells to Ukraine.

By Sylvie Kauffmann and Philippe Ricard

After the quarrel aroused by the Aukus affair, the paths of the Franco-Australian rapprochement will soon pass through Ukraine. France and Australia expressed, Monday, January 30, in Paris, their intention to deliver “several thousand” 155 mm shells together, of the ammunition claimed by kyiv to face the Russian army. The decision was unveiled after a meeting of French and Australian Foreign Defense Ministers and Affairs, the first in this format since the crisis in September 2021, after the announcement of an agreement with the States -Unis and the United Kingdom to equip Australia with nuclear propulsion submarines. The alliance (called “aukus”, for Australia, United Kingdom and Unisted States) negotiated then in the greatest secrecy by the former conservative government had been considered by Paris as a “stab in the back”, since it had led to in particular the termination of a very important contract previously signed with France for the supply of twelve conventional submersibles.

This is the first time that the two countries have been cooperating in this way to help kyiv, soon a year after the invasion triggered by Russia. The contract will be executed by French Nexter, using Australian powder. The first joint -produced shells will have to be delivered before the end of March. Supporting Ukraine is “an important issue for all countries, particularly for the small and medium -sized powers that depend a lot on respect for international rules, including the United Nations Charter”, explained, in an interview with the world , Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Penny Wong, after a meeting with her French counterpart, Catherine Colonna, and with the Minister of the Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu.

The military assistance of Canberra to Ukraine, she said, amounts to some 75 million Australian dollars (48.7 million euros), to which are added 65 million humanitarian aid. For her, this support is a “question of principle” and “the expression of a community of values ​​and interests” with France: “it is a question of seeing if the States respect the Charter of the United Nations, which Protects our sovereignty against attacks. “

” Recomposition of the world order “

received in Paris before going to London on Tuesday, M Me Wong and his colleague in La Défense, Richard Marles, thus sought with their French counterparts to “rebuild the relationship” Franco- Australian, in the wake of the Prime Minister’s Elysée, Anthony Albanese’s Elysée, the 1 er July 2022. They indicated that the new government did not intend to s ‘Equip in conventional submarines, pending delivery, on a still uncertain date, of nuclear propulsion submersibles promised by London and Washington. A way to respond to Emmanuel Macron, who had said, in mid-November, during a trip to Bangkok, that the French offer was “always on the table”, despite the breach of the contract, completed from the Entry according to the new government.

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/Media reports cited above.