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Russian specialists leave for France to dismantle equipment from Mistral ships - source

September 20, 2015, 11:27 updated at: September 20, 2015, 12:16 UTC+3
Earlier, on September 9, the source told TASS works on dismantling of Russia’s equipment from Mistral helicopter carriers built for Moscow will begin in late September
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© TASS/Michel Plassart

MOSCOW, September 20. /TASS/. The dismantling of Russian equipment from Mistral type helicopter carriers will begin on Monday; a group of Russian specialists leaves for France on Sunday, a source in the Russian military-technical cooperation sector told TASS.

"Today, a group of specialists is leaving for France, and tomorrow they will have a meeting with the French counterparts, after which the dismantling will begin," the source said. "As yet, everything is according to the schedule."

Earlier, on September 9, the source told TASS works on dismantling of Russia’s equipment from Mistral helicopter carriers built for Moscow will begin in late September. "Our specialists have returned from France where they discussed the order of dismantling the Russian equipment from the helicopter carriers. It will begin after September 20," the source said.

The French side will remove the equipment under control of Russia’s specialists. "We have already issued demands for our French colleagues for wrapping and transporting the equipment," the source said.

The Russian equipment includes all ship-borne combat information and control systems, systems controlling missile fire, artillery complexes and the helicopter landing control module.

The 1.12 billion-euro contract for the construction of two Mistral-type helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy was signed in June 2011. Under the contract, Russia was expected to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in the autumn of 2014. However, Paris suspended the ship’s handover to Russia at the very last moment over Moscow’s stance on developments in neighbouring Ukraine.

It was planned that the second ship dubbed the Sevastopol would be handed over to Russia in the second half of 2015. But the deal was suspended like in the case with the first Mistral ship.

The final termination of the contract was made after talks between presidents Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin. The parties agreed Russia gets the money (about 948 million euros) and the equipment back, and France will then be able to use the warships and to re-sell them. French media earlier reported that Paris paid Russia 950 million euros for the Mistral contract cancelation, and the overall sum of payment exceeded 1 billion euros.

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