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PARIS, September 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Paris will take a decision on a deal with Russia on Mistral helicopter carriers in late October, regardless of the situation in Ukraine, a source in the French foreign ministry told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.
“President Francois Hollande made it absolutely clear that he would make a decision in late October, regardless of the situation in Ukraine. This position remains unchanged,” the source said.
Under the contract, Russia is to receive the first of the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers currently in construction in France in October this year. However, French President Francois Hollande said last week that the deal would be carried through only if the ceasefire accords were observed in Ukraine and progress was made in the Ukrainian political process.
The 1.12 billion euro contract for building two Mistral-type ships was signed by the Russian defense exporting company Rosoboronexport and French DCNS in June 2011.
Under the contract, Russia is to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in October this year. The second Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Sevastopol, is expected to be handed over to Russia next year.