• In the "submarine crisis" France raised the tone by recalling its ambassadors in Australia and the United States.

    The diplomatic crisis is now wide open.

  • With his peaceful alliance announced in a brutal way, it appears that Joe Biden really did not do a good deal on the European side.

  • Questioned by

    20 Minutes

    , Nicole Bacharan, specialist of the United States estimates that the period of fresh relations between France and the United States could last… until a next crisis with Russia or China, which would bring them closer.

France ultimately did not just put away its petits-fours.

Paris has decided to recall its ambassadors in Washington and Canberra.

This is the latest diplomatic consequence to date linked to Australia's choice to break the contract for 56 billion euros of submarines that France was to provide it, for the benefit of the Americans.

The French executive has therefore decided to raise the tone vis-à-vis the United States, which has embarked Australia and the United Kingdom, but not France, in a new military alliance in the Pacific.

The diplomatic crisis is now wide open.

20 Minutes

takes stock.

Is the recall of ambassadors an important event?

It's simple: this has never happened between the two countries. France, the oldest ally of the United States since the War of Independence, had never recalled its ambassador to Washington. And vice versa. “And yet there was no lack of crises! Even at the time of the Suez crisis, even at the time of the withdrawal of France from the integrated command of NATO, even at the time of the Iraq war ", affirms to

20 Minutes

the specialist of the United States, Nicole Bacharan. The recall of an ambassador is traditionally a diplomatic "weapon" which marks a crisis between two countries. The fact that it is, in this case, unique, only reinforces the symbol.

With this decision, it seems clear that Paris does not want to let go of what still appears to be a public humiliation. "The United States and Australia have played comedy on the French", judges Nicolas Bacharan. The

New York Times

reports on all the meetings that have taken place in recent months between French people and Americans or Australians. Without anything of the agreement being negotiated showing through. Even during a meeting between Florence Parly and her Australian defense counterpart in… August. "We can assume that he was not in the loop, that he has a terrible memory or that he decided not to reveal what he knew," says

The Guardian


in London.

In American diplomatic circles, faced with the scale of the crisis, people are beginning to reproach the Australians for not having warned the French earlier.

Can we speak of a diplomatic misstep on the part of Joe Biden?

Neither France nor the European Union can plead surprise: the “pivot to Asia” of the United States, Washington has been suggesting it for more than ten years. Without really any action until then, it is true. “The United States, but also Australia, had what they wanted at least in the short term, thinks Nicolas Bacharan. But it is not a great success vis-à-vis Europe. Washington blames Europeans for tackling China. However, this “sudden pivot”, as the

New York Times

calls it


is clearly not there to make Europeans embrace the American point of view, thinks Nicole Bacharan.

Joe Biden is starting to put a lot of stones in a lot of gardens of European allies. A German source told a

Washington Post


that Europeans were consulted less under Biden than under Trump. Even Poland, one of the most Atlanticist countries in the European Union, says it was "thrown under the bus" when Joe Biden authorized the end of work on the NordStream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. “The United States will say that it is about 'building strong alliances, with Germany and Australia'. But who is suffering? Other allies, ”says Michal Baranowski, head of the German Marshall Fund's office in Poland, to the

New York Times


Even Justin Trudeau, the Canadian Prime Minister, has expressed his irritation at not being of the peaceful alliance.

These divisions among Westerners "can only do the business of Putin and even China", fears Nicolas Bacharan.

Can the refreshment between France and the United States last?

American strategists believe that the situation will settle down. We should not however save a period of cold between Paris and Washington. "I do not see Macron pass the sponge right away, he still took a personal slap", believes Nicole Bacharan who has just released with Dominique Simonnet

The Great Days that changed America

(Perrin). Before the escalation of the last few hours, Jean-Eric Branaa nevertheless estimated with

20 Minutes

that neither France nor the United States had any interest in raising the sauce for too long. Because France is not that important, on the one hand, and the United States still has a good relationship with it, on the other.

So the cold, but until when?

Nicole Bacharan thinks that the rapprochement will be done in favor of a future crisis with Russia, China or another authoritarian regime.

At that time the two camps will have to come together because the United States and Europe mutually need each other.

“These are democracies, which have much closer interests than with authoritarian states.

NATO is in any case not based on love or affection but on common interests between States.



Jean-Yves Le Drian evokes a "lie" and a "serious crisis" after the affair of the submarines


"The United States cannot do without a good relationship with France"

  • Diplomacy

  • World

  • Ambassador

  • Jean-Yves Le Drian

  • Australia

  • United States

  • Submarine