EU chief denounces US ‘disloyalty’ over submarine dispute
EU chief Charles Michel accused the United States of lack of loyalty after Australia canceled a mega-contract with France to buy US nuclear submarines.
“The basic principles for allies are transparency and trust, and it goes hand in hand. And what do we observe? We observe a flagrant lack of transparency and loyalty, ”the head of the European Council told reporters at the United Nations.
Michel said he was having a hard time understanding the decision of Australia, the UK and the US. “Why? Because with the new administration of Joe Biden, America is back. That was the historic message sent by this new administration and now we have questions. What does that mean – America is back? Is America back in America or somewhere else? We don’t know, “he told reporters in New York.
Speaking after the closed-door meeting on the sidelines of the assembly, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said “more cooperation, more coordination, less fragmentation” was needed to achieve this. to a stable and peaceful Indo-Pacific region where China is the main rising power. .
The bloc’s foreign ministers “have expressed clear solidarity with France,” Borrell said.
“This announcement went against calls for greater cooperation with the European Union in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday accused the United States of treason and Australia of stabbing in the back.
Delay of the submarine project in France, cost issues in Australian documents
France should not have been surprised that Australia canceled a submarine contract, as major concerns over delays, cost overruns and adequacy had been expressed formally and publicly for years, said Australian politicians.
As early as September 2018, an independent supervisory board headed by a former US Secretary of the Navy, Donald Winter, had advised Australia to examine alternatives to the French submarine, and questioned whether the project was in the national interest, a 2020 public report by the country’s Auditor General shows.
Australian parliamentary hearings and reports on the project, initially valued at $ 40 billion and more recently at $ 60 billion, even before construction began, have also shown problems emerging.