Ever since Russia was sanctioned for their involvement in the Crimean war, France was bound by those sanctions to not supply weapons and technology to Russia. Joint developments between French and Russian weapon industries made Russian weapons more competitive in the market, without which Russian arms industry would slowly starve.
French and Russian cooperation benefited the Russian arms industry that employs nearly three million people, and French industrialists seeking to ramp up against stiffening competition in the global market. Restructuring of several French defence conglomerates to remain competitive took place amidst new and powerful entrants from Israel, China, Russia, Brazil, South Africa, and other Asian powers. France is currently the world’s third largest arms exporter but they constantly have to juggle between political prudence and employment back home.
To get around the sanctions, Russia went through a number of third party countries via joint ventures to have France supply directly to these third party projects rather than have these sensors assembled inside Russia, as such actions are barred by sanctions. The plan is to have the French install these sensors at the customer’s base when the Russian made vehicles arrive.
The Algerian-Russian joint venture to assemble T-90s in Algeria is one such example. Thales, according to some reports, has agreed to supply components for these Russian made tanks only if they are assembled in Algeria. OJSC Peleng, a Belorussian company that makes fire control systems and sensors for the Russian military, have been in close cooperation with French companies to provide components for their sensors used in Russian made tanks for export. In all, the sanctions had negligible effect for armoured vehicle sales and were nothing more than a nuisance.