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France’s former minister: Contract on Mistrals should be fulfilled

January 24, 2015, 14:38 UTC+3 NICE
"We received a big order from Russia, due to which we offered new jobs, and I believe this order on supplies of warships should be fulfilled,” Estrosi said
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Christian Estrosi

Christian Estrosi

© EPA/IAN LANGSDON

NICE, January 24. /TASS/. The contract on supply of Mistrals to Russia should be fulfilled, France’s former Minister of Industry and Trade, current Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi told reporters on Saturday.

“I would like to say, I am expressing support to Russia, its government, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. I personally do not support the sanctions. I used to be minister of industry at the time we received a big order from Russia, due to which we offered new jobs, and I believe this order on supplies of warships should be fulfilled,” he said.

Russia signed a 1.2 billion euro contract with France in June 2011 on the construction of two Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy. The first warship - the Vladivostok - was to be handed over to Russia in autumn 2014, but the French side postponed the delivery citing the conflict in Ukraine.

The second Mistral helicopter carrier - the Sevastopol - was floated out in November. Under the contract, the Russian Fleet is to receive it in 2015.

Another source told TASS earlier that under the contract France was allowed to postpone the delivery of the first Mistral warship for three months, starting from November 1, 2014.

Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Yuri Borisov said in November Russia would be acting strictly in line with the contract and file a lawsuit if the Mistral warship is not delivered.

France’s penalty may amount to around 3 billion euros, media reports said. The sum is comprised of the 1.2 billion euros the contract is worth and a compensation of 800 million euros for each of Mistrals.

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