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Russia receives no official refusal on Mistral deliveries from France — minister

October 14, 2014, 17:33 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The fact that Russia hasn't received any official notification means the contract schedule remains the same and the helicopter carrier is to be delivered to Russia this month
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© AP Photo/David Vincent

MOSCOW, October 14. /TASS/. Russia has not received any official refusal from France to deliver the Mistral-class helicopter carriers, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said on Tuesday.

“We have not received any official refusals. The contract schedule has not changed,” he said.

Manturov added that the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade was not directly involved in the fulfilment of contracts on the Mistral helicopter carriers, and the minister could only comment on this “as an expert.”

The first of two Mistral-class warships that France is building under a contract with Russia is to be delivered to Russia in October 2014. However, French President Francois Hollande said the deal would be completed only if the Ukrainian ceasefire agreement is fulfilled and the political process in Ukraine advances successfully.

Russia-France Mistral contract

The €1.12 billion contract to build Mistral amphibious assault ships for the Russian navy was signed in June 2011. In case it is not implemented, France will have to pay Russia a penalty fee.

The first Mistral, the Vladivostok, was floated in October 2013. In September 2014, despite the fact that the handover issue was unresolved, the vessel took to the sea for trials with Russian navy servicemen on board. The second Mistral, the Sevastopol, is to be handed over next year.

Russia came under Western sanctions, originally visa bans and asset freezes, for incorporation of Crimea in mid-March after a coup in Ukraine in February. Later, Western claims that Russia is taking part in hostilities in southeast Ukraine, which Moscow has repeatedly denied, resulted in more serious, sectoral, restrictions.

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