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France ready to pay in case Mistral contract is severed — Hollande

April 22, 2015, 18:44 UTC+3 PARIS
As of now, there are no conditions for the delivery of the helicopter carriers to Russia
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© AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni

PARIS, April 22. /TASS/. There are no conditions yet for supply of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday at a joint news conference with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko in the Elysee Palace.

"As of today, their delivery, taking into account the well-known context, is impossible," Hollande said.

He said the issue of Mistrals will become one of the points of his talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to be held in the Armenian capital Yerevan on Friday. "We will discuss all variants," he said.

The French leader also said in case the contract on delivery of Mistrals is finally severed, France will be ready to pay a cancelation fee.

Russia-France Mistral deal

The €1.12-billion contract to build the Mistral amphibious assault ships for the Russian navy was signed in June 2011. In case it is not implemented, France will have to pay Russia a penalty fee.

Infographics Mistral helicopter carrier Mistral helicopter carrier
Russia will purchase Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France. Infographics by TASS

The first Mistral, the Vladivostok, was floated in October 2013. It was expected to be handed over to Russia by the French side in the fall of 2014, but the handover did not take place.

The second Mistral, the Sevastopol, was to be delivered to Russia in October 2015, but the deal was suspended too.

France suspended the delivery of Mistrals to Russia as part of a package of sanctions the European countries imposed on Moscow for what they claimed was its alleged role in destabilization of southeast Ukraine.

Russia has constantly dismissed allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s southeast.

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