The rat that is the EU along with the little mice in it.

Graham Charles Lear
5 min readMar 25, 2022

Official arms sales by EU27 to Russia, despite supposed EU ban

France is the worst offender and President Macron has a lot to answer for.

Using data obtained from the COARM database of the ‘European External Action Service’ (EEAS) of the EU Commission, I have been able to piece together the sale of arms to Putin’s Russia by EU27 countries and the findings are shocking.

Despite a supposed EU arms embargo on 31 July 2014, some EU countries — notably France — have continued to profit from this trade. Not only have the governments of these countries continued to grant export licences, but I also have evidence of the actual value of military equipment provided to Putin’s Russia.

1. EU27 arms sales to Putin’s Russia since he first invaded Ukraine

  • Total EU27 arms sales to Russia since it first invaded Ukraine, 2014–2020: €352.4m
  • Total UK arms sales to Russia since it first invaded Ukraine, 2014–2020: ZERO
  • Emmanuel Macron’s French government has been by far the biggest arms supplier to Putin’s Russia
  • French arms sales to Russia, 2014–2020: €233.7m
  • This is two-thirds of all EU arms sales to Russia since the embargo
  • France isn’t the only offender: in 2020 Austria delivered €2,513,644 worth of ammunition to Russia

2. The value of EU27 arms export licences issued AFTER Putin first invaded Ukraine

  • Total EU27 arms export licences issued from 2014–2020: €1.495 BILLION
  • Arms export licences were still being issued by France and Austria in 2020

The typical EU ‘get out of jail clause’

Instead of stopping all arms sales to Russia in 2014 as the EU should have done, a typical fudge was agreed between the member countries, especially those like France with a large vested interest in continuing the arms trade.

The ‘get out of jail’ clause states that EU member countries could continue supplying arms to Putin provided contracts had been agreed before 01 August 2014 — over five months after he first attacked Ukraine. This was despite their use to suppress internal dissent and for use in Crimea or the Ukrainian provinces in the north which Russia was supporting.

Macron’s government and the French arms trade

The French government of Emmanuel Macron has significant stakes in French defence contractors such as Thales and Safran. It is therefore entirely complicit in this trade.

Whilst President Macron may be able to argue that France has obeyed the letter of the arms ban — which seems doubtful so many years after the ban was imposed — there is no question that France has an important moral question to answer.

Which weapons has Macron’s France supplied to Putin’s Russia since he first invaded part of Ukraine?

Here we have a problem. Whilst other EU countries have specified the weapons supplied, France has not. In France’s case, they merely use the description “ML Categories not specified”. ML stands for the military list — the items banned.

To provide some idea, however, below is a list of ML military supplies actually transported to Russia from other EU countries since Putin invaded Crimea.

EU27 arms sales to Putin’s Russia since he first invaded Ukraine

  • Ground vehicles and components
  • Ammunition and fuse setting devices, and specially designed components therefor
  • Bombs, torpedoes, rockets, missiles, other explosive devices and charges and related equipment and accessories, and specially designed components therefor
  • Smooth-bore weapons with a calibre of less than 20mm, other arms and automatic weapons with a calibre of 12.7mm (calibre 0.50 inches) or less, accessories and components
  • Aircraft, lighter than air vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, aero-engines and aircraft equipment, related equipment and components, specially designed or modified for military use
  • Fire control, and related alerting and warning equipment, and related systems, test and alignment and countermeasure equipment, specially designed for military use, and specially designed components and accessories therefor
  • Technology for the development, production or use of items controlled in the EU Common Military List
  • Armoured or protective equipment, constructions and components
  • Electronic equipment, not specified elsewhere on the EU Common Military List, and specially designed components therefor
  • Vessels of war, (surface or underwater) special naval equipment, accessories, components and other surface vessels

What I can report with certainty is that Macron’s France has supplied Putin’s Russia with €233.7m of military equipment on the EU’s banned list from 2014. It would seem reasonable to conclude that a proportion of this is currently being used against Ukraine’s citizens right now.

The background

On 08 December 2008, the EU developed a ‘Council Common Position’ defining common rules governing control of exports of military technology and equipment. This has been amended and strengthened many times since then.

Putin’s Russia invaded Crimea (part of Ukraine) on 20 February 2014 and annexed it on 18 March the same year.

In April this was followed by Russian-backed separatists fighting in the Donbas region in Eastern Ukraine, with parts of this region then coming under their control. In July of that year, the EU imposed sanctions against Russia including an arms embargo. The relevant decisions are Council Decision 2014/512/CFSP and Council Regulation (EU) No 833/2014.

These sanctions prohibit any involvement in the supply of military arms and services to Russia — or dual-use items for military use — by nationals of EU states or from the territories of EU states.

This arms embargo was initially put in place for one year but has since been extended annually.

The EU is a “project of peace”….. Seriously?

Everyone knows the EU constantly claims to be a ‘project of peace’. Indeed EU Commission Presidents and others have repeatedly implied the EU has been responsible for peace in Europe since the Second World War, despite this having been achieved by NATO.

Today’s report delivers a major blow to the EU’s claims. I have shown that the EU’s supposed arms embargo on Russia is a sham.

€1.5bn of arms export licences have been issued by EU27 countries since Putin first invaded Ukrainian sovereign territory in early 2014. Arms from EU27 countries have continued to be supplied — to the tune of more than a third of a billion Euros, according to the latest available figures obtained from the EU itself.

The EU should stay out of geopolitics

The EU’s foreign policy initiatives have been disastrous. Its interventions in the civil wars in the former Yugoslavia were counter-productive, to say the least. Its overtures to Ukraine to join the EU in the early 2000s seem to have provoked the Russian bear into violent action — firstly in Crimea and now in Ukraine as a whole.

Then we also have the appalling interference in the peace process in Northern Ireland, as part of the EU’s attempt to punish the United Kingdom for daring to vote to leave its sclerotic empire. As I have reported, their involvement has effectively torn up the hard-won Belfast Agreement.

Finally, I would remind any Rejoiners trying to argue against anything in this report that all the data comes from research into official EU documents and databases. I suggest they address their points to the EU Commission, not me.

[ Sources: EU Commission ]



Graham Charles Lear

What is life without a little controversy in it? Quite boring and sterile would be my answer.