On Thursday, France reacted furiously to the presentation of the new AUKUS security pact. The French Secretary of State spoke of a “dagger in the back” and said that the way the US government worked reminded him of the way the previous President Donald Trump operated.

The US, the United Kingdom and Australia announced on Wednesday that they are forming a new partnership. At the top of their priority list is arranging a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines for Australia, as was pointed out at a joint press conference by the leaders of the three countries.

That decision costs the French defence sector billions because Australia is now cancelling plans to buy submarines in France.

“I’m very angry today. And bitter. This is not something allies should do to each other, ” said Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

The minister said that Australia has yet to explain how it wants to get out of contractual agreements. According to him, trust between the countries has been broken. The White House also suffered.

“This unilateral, sudden and unforeseen decision is very reminiscent of what Mr. Trump would do,” said Le Drian, who did not mean that as a compliment.

There was also disagreement about when the French had been informed. The White House informed the French press agency AFP that AUKUS had already been discussed with top French officials before the official presentation. The French Embassy denied this and said that it had heard the news of the deal through the American and Australian press.

The American Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke conciliatory words on Thursday. He stressed to the Press that France was also an important partner of his country.

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