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MOSCOW, December 24. /TASS/. Russia's deputy defense chief has demanded that France honours its obligations to complete the suspended Mistral helicopter carrier warship contract or return Moscow's money.
France had joined western anti-Russian sanctions and military partnership was frozen, Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Wednesday. But the Mistral contract existed, he said. "Everything is stipulated in the deal, including terms of delivery, penalty sanctions, procedures of how we can ask for a refund."
"No Mistral, so bring back the money," Antonov said. "There is nothing personal in this issue. This is business. The contract is in effect and its terms should be fulfilled.”
In other comments on the dispute, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told TV news channel Rossiya 24 that Moscow did not accept French arguments that circumstances existed to stall the deal.
“No one on our side plans to accept the explanation that there were no conditions for handing these warships to us," Rogozin said.
“We do not consider it a force majeure circumstance, outlined in the contract. This is just a manifestation of French geopolitical weakness,” he said. "The country yields to pressure from its NATO partners.”.