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France Unclear about Russia's Mistral
15.11.2014 01:03
France Unclear about Russia's Mistral
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France has issued unclear signals about the delivery of the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia.

      The French defense minister confirmed the contract is valid but said the French shipbuilding corporation had not yet received the export permission from the government.

      A source in the shipbuilding industry told the news agency Interfax that the Vladivostok ship was engaged in exercises involving some 200 Russian seamen in the Bay of Biscay.

      Earlier, Russia-IC reported that France had warned Russia it suspended the delivery of the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia over its alleged role in the Ukraine crisis.

      Russia then reminded France of the fines it would have pay if it falls through with its intention to cancel the deal to supply Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Moscow.

      Russian experts and officials estimate the losses at around 3 billion euros.

      The deal for two Mistral ships worth 1.2 bn euros was signed in June 2011.

      The helicopter carriers were expected to enter service with the Northern and the Pacific fleets in 2014 and 2015. It is planned to use the ships for the support of forces in the Kuril Islands.

      A Mistral-class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

      In the past, France repeatedly insisted it will stick to the contractual provisions despite numerous calls from the US and other allies to cancel the deal.



Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Mistral     

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