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MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. Russia may file a lawsuit against France over the failure to deliver Mistral-class helicopter-carriers within six months, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Thursday.
“There is a contract, so everything must be strictly complied with,” Shoigu said. “If the contract is abused, naturally a lawsuit follows.”
He added that these proceedings could take six months as in January Russia demanded an official explanation of France's failure to deliver the warships under the 2011 contract.
Russia and France signed the €1.2 billion contract on construction of two Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy in June 2011. 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.
France’s penalty may amount to around €3 billion, media reports said. The sum is comprised of the €1.2 billion the contract is worth and a compensation of €800 million for each of Mistrals.