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The crisis of the submarine deal .. Le Drian attacks Australia: their choice of Washington has given up sovereignty

The repercussions of the nuclear submarine crisis between France and Australia continue after the latter abandoned a deal with Paris and chose the United States, claiming to have a better financial offer. of canceling it.

According to a report published by the British newspaper "The Guardian" on Thursday, Le Drian told a parliamentary hearing that Australia had not expressed doubts about the submarine contract or the Indo-Pacific Strategic Agreement before the agreement was broken.

Le Drian said: "Everything I have told you is confirmed by the letter I received on September 15 from the Australian Department of Defense which said all is well, let's go." We know what."

Le Drian said the French contractor Naval Group had received a letter on the same day the contract was terminated saying that Australia was "satisfied" with the submarine's strategic review and was ready to quickly sign the second phase of the program, and as a result was met with the decision to terminate the multi-billion dollar submarine contract. The dollars were stunned in France, he said.

Le Drian emphasized that Australia had "requested conventional submarines" as opposed to nuclear-powered ships, and added that the Australian decision to abandon a partnership with France for an agreement with the United States meant it had given up its defensive sovereignty.

Le Drian repeated several times that the Aukus agreement represented a "complete loss of sovereignty" for Australia, and said: "It is not just a breach of contract, it is a betrayal and a betrayal of trust." He noted that the US strategy in the Indo-Pacific region is based on "military confrontation," France wants to work with "other actors in the Indo-Pacific" to combat Chinese expansion in the region.

Last week, an Australian Department of Defense spokesperson told the Guardian: "On 15 September 2021, Naval Group was notified that a formal exit from the system review had been achieved as required under the contractual arrangements in place at the time."

"This correspondence did not indicate or authorize the commencement of the next phase of the programme, which remains subject to the announcement of Australian Government decisions," the spokesperson added.