February 18, 2003 by AK
France’s opposition to war: According to Richard Perle, the price of the question is “€60bn – €75bn”. (I’ve come across $40 — $50 bn in other sources, and even as low as $15 bn in a Russian paper.)
No way the US can pay off France (and Belgium?) — that’s way too much — but it can vow to honor the contract! Or, if it’s really that “lopsided” in favour of TotalFinaElf, insist on a discount but cut a deal. Why not?
Well, there are Russian companies keen on Iraq. They a) may not be happy with the French staking the fields; b) can demand, via Putin, a similar payoff.
And, of course, there are American oil majors to please!
A tough call.