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France ordered officials to 'get revenge' on the US, UK, and Australia after it was ditched from $50 billion submarine contract, report says

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US President Joe Biden (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) have a conversation ahead of the NATO summit at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels, on June 14, 2021.
US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron at a NATO summit in June 2021. Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • France ordered officials to "get revenge" after losing a submarine contract, Politico reported.

  • France was incensed when Australia ditched it in favor of a deal with the US and UK.

  • There are signs that relations are improving after Biden sought to calm the situation.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

France instructed its officials to "get revenge" on Australia, the US, and the UK after being booted from a contract to build Australia's submarines, Politico reported.

A French official made the comment to Politico earlier this week as Paris continued to react furiously to Australia's surprise decision to drop French-owned Naval Group from the $50 billion deal to replace its ageing submarines.

Australia will now build the submarines with help from the UK and US instead as part of a new security pact called AUKUS.

France - accusing the three nations of a "stab in the back"- recalled its ambassadors from the US and Australia, and moved to disrupt trade talks between the two nations and the EU, of which France is a leading member.

French officials have also found support from other EU members to delay talks with the US scheduled for next week, Bloomberg reported.

Both President Biden and Johnson were "astonished" at France's furious reaction to the announcement, the Telegraph reported.

Speaking in New York on Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson poked fun at French President Macron for his government's response to the crisis, telling him to "get a grip."

"What I want to say about that is I just think it's time for some of our dearest friends around the world to prenez un grip [get a grip] about all this and donnez-moi un break [give me a break]," said Johnson in Washington, where he was meeting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

After France's anger, there were later signs that relations were starting to calm.

Johnson said on Wednesday that while "everybody has been a bit taken aback by the strength of the French reaction," he wanted "reach out to Paris and sort something out."

Biden and Macron also spoke by phone Wednesday for the first time since AUKUS was announced.

In a joint US-French statement after the call, the White House conceded that it should have consulted Macron before announcing the AUKUS partnership, and said Biden would meet with him in Europe next month.

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