PARIS, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Paris says it cannot deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carrier ships to Russia, French Foreign Ministry deputy spokesman Alexandre Giorgini said on Monday.
Russia and France signed the €1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) contract for two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers in June 2011.
French President Francois Hollande said France had not suspended or cancelled the deal with Russia, but the delivery of the ships would depend on how the situation developed in eastern Ukraine which has been gripped by violence and fighting between militias and government troops for months.
He earlier assured Russia that his country would fulfill its obligations and hand over the first ship as scheduled but the work on the second one would depend on Moscow’s position on the Ukrainian crisis.