The press attaché of French foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian sent the following response to questions submitted by Mediapart:
“As already indicated in 2018 when certain information was published in the Indian press, we underline that the inter-governmental agreement signed on September 23rd 2016 between the French and Indian governments for the supply to India of 36 Rafale aircraft, concerned only the obligations of the French government to ensure the delivery and quality of this equipment.
The French government is in no manner involved in the choice of Indian industrial partners who have been, are, or will be selected by French industrialists. In conformity with the Indian acquisition procedure, the French industrialist have all freedom to choose the Indian industrial partners who they consider the most pertinent, and then to submit for approbation by the Indian government the offset projects that they wish to carry out with these local partners in India, in order to fulfil their obligations in this respect.
Specifically, agreements have already been signed by French industrialists with very many Indian companies, both public and private, in the framework of Indian law.
Anil Ambani had contact within the French administration, as is normal for the leader of a large foreign industrial group.
We in no way validate the [reports] which you refer to in your other questions.”