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MOSCOW, December 16 /TASS/. The delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers is the matter of a signed legal contract and dignity of the French nation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview with the France 24 TV Channel on Tuesday.
The Russian foreign minister was forced to interrupt the French correspondent when asked about the Mistrals. “I have to interrupt you. I don’t make any comments on this issue. This is the matter a) of a signed legal contract, and b) of dignity of the French nation,” Lavrov stressed. “I don’t have any more comments,” Lavrov replied when the French journalist tried to continue the subject.
Russia and France signed a contract for the construction of two Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy in June 2011. The first Mistral — the Vladivostok — was launched in October 2013. In September 2014, it underwent trials at sea with Russian sailors onboard despite the fact that the question of its handover to the Russian side remained unresolved.
France is to hand over the second Mistral helicopter carrier — the Sevastopol — to Russia next year. The contract is valued at €1.12 billion.