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Demonstration against Mistral sale in front of Embassy of France

Date

19 May 2014

Sections

Global Europe
Social Europe & Jobs
Trade & Society

A protest meeting against the sale of Mistral warships to Russia was held today in front of the Embassy of France in Tallinn, Estonia. The event was organised by a Member of European Parliament Mr Indrek Tarand, who has been fighting against the Mistral deal since 2009.

“There is a solution to this problem, through our Common Foreign Security Policy,” said Indrek Tarand. “The EU should purchase those vessels from France for its own naval force. Mistrals could then participate in EU missions and they could be sent to the Horn of Africa, where exactly that kind of capacity is needed,” he added.
 
“This solution presents a rare window of opportunity for strengthening both the EU’s common and shared response to the Ukrainian crisis and kick-starting the CFSP,” MEP Tarand said. "It is a win-win solution." The event was a success, as the French ambassador Mr Michel Raineri agreed to meet the concerned citizens and hear their proposal.
 
Financial Times recently wrote about Mr Tarand’s idea, as he has been advocating the proposal for some time now. He is planning to pursue the issue further after the European Parliament elections. In Brussels MEP Tarand is a part of the Greens who have vocally opposed any EU arms export to countries that violate human rights. That includes the French-Russian arms deal in numerous resolutions, speeches and conference.
 
Estonia was the first country to pledge France help in its mission to Central African Republic and is still the only European partner in the region.
The demonstration was duly registered at the police according to law and was attended by civil society activists and politicians. There is an ever growing concern for the Mistral deal.
 
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