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MOSCOW, July 31. /TASS/. Scrapping the Mistral warship deal will make Russia be more pragmatic even in relations with its traditional partners, member of the State Duma Defense Committee Franz Klintsevich has told TASS.
"Only tough realists survive in this world. I think the appropriate conclusions will be drawn. Under current conditions, we will have to be tough pragmatists even in relatons with our traditional partners," Klintsevich said.
He noted that Russia was guided by Soviet-era principles when it inked the Mistral deal. "They say France is our old friend, so the price of the contract doesn’t matter," he said.
The €1.12 billion contract for the construction of two Mistral-type helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy was signed in June 2011. Under the contract, Russia was expected to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in the autumn of 2014. However, Paris suspended the ship’s handover to Russia at the very last moment over Moscow’s stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine.
It was planned that the second ship dubbed the Sevastopol would be handed over to Russia in the second half of 2015. But the deal was suspended like in the case with the first Mistral ship.
French President Francois Hollande said on Monday that the decision on whether or not to deliver Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia would be taken "in the coming weeks."