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After 42 Years France Returned to NATO

After 42 Years France Returned to NATO
13.03.2009
President of France Nicolas Sarkozy declared returning of the country into structures of military command of NATO. "It's time to put an end to this situation. It's in the interests of France and Europe", - was declared by Sarkozy who made public speech at a meeting of the French military experts in Paris, Air Forces informs.

The secretary general of NATO Jaap de Hoop Sheffer welcomed the decision of the French leader.
Paris left integrated structures of command of NATO in 1966. Thus, the president of France Charles де Gaulle wished to show independence from the USA. Thus formally the country remained a member of alliance - France is the fourth country of NATO referring the number of armed forces.
At the same time, despite of the statement of president Sarkozy, command of nuclear forces of France remains out of NATO control.
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From editorial board: Russia has no zones of crossing of interests with France either on overland battlefield, or on the sea and had no war with the French army since the Crimean war. Thus introduction of France into closer interaction with NATO from the point of view of interests of Russia can be considered in two aspects:
- military-industrial
- in the field of strategic nuclear arms.
Presence of considerable economic power of France in Alliance structures is unconditionally increases its strategic power and puts Russia in more difficult situation in the field of race of arms. If to consider NATO as probable opponent, it should be noted that today it's stronger economically, than Russia. Basically, the Russian Federation in its present position never was in condition to lead race of arms, however, probably, fuller integration of France would allow all countries of Alliance to save on military expenses in crisis.
In the field of strategic nuclear arms France is the fourth world power on sizes of nuclear forces. There are 6 nuclear submarines with approximately 80 fighting nuclear blocks on arms of SNF of France. Aviation component of the French SNF consists of approximately 45 planes "Mirages" capable to bear guided missile ASMP with nuclear fighting part (or free level out nuclear bombs) and range of flight up to 300 km. Land strategic nuclear forces of France as such are absent now, though 18 mine launchers are kept and there are available workings out on a rocket of average range with radius of action 6000 km equipped with the fighting block with capacity up to 1,2 Mt.
Basically, to displace seriously nuclear balance in favour of NATO SNF of France for today are not capable, however, with progressing degradation of the Russian Strategic Rocket Forces and on the background of reduction of sea and air components of the Russian nuclear triad the share of the French SNF in the general potential of NATO can become essential.
А.B.
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