PARIS, February 20. /TASS/. France is paying around €2.5 million monthly for maintenance of the Vladivostok Mistral-type helicopter carrier that is supposed to be delivered to Russia, the French LSI TV channel reported Friday.
The first helicopter carrier is ready to be delivered but it lies in the Atlantic port of Saint-Nazaire, the report says. The vessel has been there for 4 months already.
Russia signed a €1.2 billion contract with France in June 2011. The contract stipulates 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.
A source told TASS earlier that under the contract France is allowed to postpone the delivery of the first Mistral warship for three months, starting November 1, 2014.
Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said in November Russia would be acting strictly in line with the contract and would file a lawsuit if the Mistral warship is not delivered.
France’s penalty may amount to around €3 billion, media reports said.