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Russian crews of Mistral helicopter carriers back to Russia from France

December 30, 2014, 15:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The ship left the French port of Saint Nazaire on December 18
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© EPA/EDDY LEMAISTRE

MOSCOW, December 30. /TASS/. The Smolny training ship with Russian crews of helicopter carriers Mistral have arrived back to the Russian town of Kronshtadt in the Gulf of Finland, a source in Russian Defense Ministry told TASS.

“The ship with crews who passed training has moored in Kronshtadt,” the source said.

The ship left the French port of Saint Nazaire on December 18. The vessel was carrying more than 400 Russian naval sailors of two crews of helicopter carriers Mistral, the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol, initially designed for Russia.

Russia has concluded a contract with France to build Mistral in the summer of 2011. The first helicopter carrier was planned to be handed over to the Russian navy in autumn, but France delayed the delivery, citing current tension over events in Ukraine. The second helicopter carrier was set afloat in November.

In early December Russian presidential aide Vladimir Kozhin said that Russia has already prepared documents for a legal action in France, if helicopter carriers are not delivered under the contract.

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

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