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French corporations refuse to disclose dates of Mistrals’ delivery to Russia

October 27, 2014, 16:49 UTC+3 PARIS

The corporations’ officials refrain from releasing any information on the issue because of the extremely delicate political character of the contract

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© ITAR-TASS/Vadim Zhernov

PARIS, October 27. /TASS/. French naval shipbuilding corporations DCNS and STX do not plan to release information on presumable dates of delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, Emmanuel Gaudez, an official spokesman for the DCNS told TASS on Monday.

DCNS is the chief designer and contractor in the project, while the ships are built at the STX yards in Saint Nazaire.

Gaudez said the corporations’ officials refrained from releasing any information on the issue, adding that the company’s stance reflected the extremely delicate political character of the contract.

He said the DCNS would not like to influence discussions of the deliveries and hence would not confirm or dispel or reaffirm in any other way the various rumors around the dates.

Gaudez also said that the DCNS as the main contracting party in the project had strongly prohibited executives and specialists in the shipyard to make any statements on the problem.

Officials at the secretariat of the French Defense Ministry told TASS they did not have any current data on the possibility of the helicopter carriers’ delivery to Russia and they added that the problem would be considered by a governmental commission on arms exports, which is chaired by Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Unofficial information indicates that the commission will have the meeting may take place sometime in the first half of November.

France suspended the delivery of the first two Mistrals to Russia as part of a package of sanctions the European countries imposed on Moscow for an alleged role the West ascribes to Russia in destabilization of the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

The mass media ballyhoo over the supply of Mistral amphibious ships to Russia indicates that Paris is interested in a solution to a far greater extent than Moscow, a Russian Foreign Ministry official has told TASS.

“At various levels Russia has more than once commented on France’s compliance with its contractual liabilities to deliver Mistral ships. However, although the question is legally very simple, the media have repeatedly made a fuss over the issue, which is a sure sign Paris is interested in a successful settlement of the affair to a far greater degree than Moscow,” the Foreign Ministry’s official said.

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