Photo: BBC

Two major NATO partners, France and Spain, continue to maintain strong commercial ties with Russia despite broad international sanctions in response to the country’s aggression. Even more alarming, according to a new report by Heritage Foundation experts Luke Coffey and Daniel Kochis, is that they are still doing business with Russia’s military.

Spain continues to grant the Russian navy access to the ports of Ceuta and Melilla for refueling and reloading. Meanwhile, France is proceeding with a $1.6 billion sale of two new Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to the Russian navy.

Coffey and Kochis conclude:

It is unacceptable that two major NATO member states would offer support to the Russian navy at a time when Moscow is actively attempting to dismember Ukraine and undermining the security of the Baltic states. The U.S. government should make it clear at the highest levels that it views any support to the Russian navy in terms of equipment sales and port access as completely unacceptable in light of Russian aggression.

How do you think the U.S. should respond to this behavior by NATO members?

Comments (9)

Vern Cornell - May 29, 2014

Our president should telephone the leaders of Spain and France…discus THIS letter..!

Nancy Carlson - May 29, 2014

Perchance we should ask our NATO allies if they would prefer to learn to speak Russian or continue to speak their native language. Cuts to the heart of the matter!

James A. Sagerholm - May 29, 2014

In my opinion, we have been pursuing the wrong course with Russia. Instead of continuing to view Russia in strictly military versus military,terms, we should have been pursuing economic means to tie Russia to the West .instead we are driving the Russians into partnerships with China. China should be the potential adversary that we should prpare to encounter. With India and Russia as allies, and the US fleet in the Pacific, the aggressive tendencies increasingly shown by China might well be checked..

C. Hoffman - May 30, 2014

No. It is not our affair.

Fred Wilson - May 30, 2014

Perhaps the US should not be telling the people who live in Europe and have to deal with Russia on a daily basis how they should conduct their business.

The Obama administration has already served as a catalyst for the Eurasian alliance that Putin has been promoting for some time. Now we have China and Russia against the US and a bunch of little countries. I saw a sign once at the zoo that said “don’t poke the bear”.

ken karger - May 30, 2014

I think we should stay out of that altogether.

Alberta Kanya - May 30, 2014

Business is business. France and especially Spain are drowning in red ink.

Dale Stam - May 31, 2014

Stop sending them money, stop all imports from Spain and France to the USA
Dale Stam

Holly Chapo - June 1, 2014

How the US should respond and how we will, if at all, are probably in two different universes. Get on the phone with their top leader and make the case, forcefully, against the actions of Spain and France. But we better have something to back up our position.

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