Following last week’s security settlement, EU foreign ministers met at the UN General Assembly in the United States late Monday.
France is outraged by the deal, which means the country is losing a deal to sell traditionally operated submarines to Australia for the equivalent of 350 billion Swedish kronor. Instead, the United States and Britain will provide nuclear submarines to Australians.
EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel are backing France and are expected to raise the issue with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday night.
– I don’t think France is overreacting. France should not be exaggerated. But I think the situation is worrying and serious and it is our responsibility to speak clearly – precisely because we are allies. We can not pretend that this is not a problem, says French EU Minister Clement Bonn.
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Sweden’s EU Minister Hans Tolkien (S) also says he understands French annoyance. But he wants to know more.
Tolkien says it is now necessary to create clarity on what promises have been broken after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.
At the same time, he underestimates the resentment in the EU over recent US action. In addition to the submarine crisis, the rapid US withdrawal from Afghanistan has raised questions about how closely Europe is cooperating with President Joe Biden and his administration.
“Sweden is not harmed”
Demands have already been made to suspend EU negotiations on a trade agreement with Australia. The scheduled trade meeting with the United States in Pittsburgh next week is also in danger zone as the EU is considering countermeasures. However, Hans Talgren continues to call for “openness to the outside world.”
As a result, we will not change EU trade policy, but I am confident that it will be mentioned in the forthcoming trade talks between the European Council (EU Heads of State and Government), says the EU Minister.
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