Dassault (Rafale) Chief Says European Union’s Sanctions Against Russia Have Created Problems For Industry

Chairman and CEO of French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation, Eric Trappier, said on Monday that the European Union’s sanctions against Russia had created problems for the European industry.

“Since the start of hostilities in Europe, in Ukraine, there have been sanctions that have created problems in the supply chain of some materials and energy,” Trappier told French radio broadcaster Europe 1.

While acknowledging sanctions as a “normal” political decision, he complained that the restrictions against Russia had a major impact on the energy sector in Europe and many European countries were suffering from the lack of Russian gas.

“There are concerns about rising energy prices, which makes it difficult for businesses, especially in Europe, while there are no problems with access to gas in the United States,” Dassault Aviation’s chief said.

Western countries and their allies have been facing high energy prices in the aftermath of imposing sanctions on Russia after it launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24. The Ukraine crisis and sanctions have led to disruptions in supply chains and a spike in energy prices worldwide.

Earlier,  Dassault Aviation and German and Spanish subsidiaries of Airbus reached an agreement to move to a new stage in the development of the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) fighter jet after a year of negotiations, Trappier had said.

“Today, it was done. We reached an agreement with Airbus. All the points of contention have been settled,” Trappier said in an interview with le Figaro newspaper.

The agreement now has to be formally signed in the coming days, Trappier said, adding that the parties will move on to the development of a demonstration model, which should see the light in 2029.

French Rafale
File: French Rafale

French Armed Forces Minister Sebastien Lecornu welcomed the agreement between Dassault Aviation and Airbus, calling it a concrete step in defense cooperation in the European Union.

“I am pleased with the agreement between the companies to move to a new stage of the FCAS project. This project reflects concrete steps in cooperation that we are pursuing in the EU in the sphere of defense and armaments and in which France plays a central role,” Lecornu said on Twitter.

A joint project between France, Germany, and Spain to develop a new FCAS fighter jet was launched in 2017. The project aims to create a replacement for the French Rafale jet, owned by Dassault Aviation, and the Eurofighter jet being developed by a consortium of Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems.

“The Directorate General of Armaments [DGA], on behalf of the three countries involved in the project, in which France plays a leading role, has approved the contract for the next stage of development between Dassault Aviation, Airbus Defense and Space GmbH and Airbus Defense and Space SAU, as well as Indra [Spanish information technology and defense systems company] and Eumet [French-German company for FCAS fighter engine development]. This contract is aimed at preparing and implementing demonstration models of various FCAS components,” the ministry said in a statement.

FCAS is Europe’s largest weapons project, with an estimated cost of $105 billion.

Via: Sputnik News Agency