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Lavrov: Issue of Mistral helicopter carriers closed for Russia

October 02, 2015, 5:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"We are satisfied how it all turned out and hold no hard feelings whatsoever," Russian Foreign Minister added
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© Alexander Shcherbak/TASS

MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. The issue concerning failed supplies of Mistral helicopter carriers is a closed deal for Russia, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the Venezuelan state television.

"Speaking about us [Russia], this is already a closed deal," Lavrov said adding that France had decided against implementing its contractual obligations citing Ukrainian conflict.

"This all looked strange, but anyway it was the decision of the French side," Lavrov said. "We said that we would not be trying to change the decision and talking France out of it. We asked to return back money and were paid in full."

"We have asked to pay both for what we really paid out to our French partners and for what we have spent on the construction of some of the parts of these helicopter carriers at our shipyards and personnel training," the foreign minister said.

"On the whole, we are satisfied how it all turned out and hold no hard feelings whatsoever," Lavrov added.

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 neighboring 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.

News came in the summer of 2015 that Russia and France had agreed on the fate of the two Mistral helicopter carriers.

Under the agreement, Russia would get back its money paid for the Mistral construction, after France would be able to use the amphibious ships at its discretion.

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