MOSCOW, April 21. /TASS/. If Paris makes a political decision on delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, then reaching an agreement on details will be an easy task, a member of the defence committee of Russia’s lower house of parliament said on Tuesday.
"A political decision is needed. The agreement on details won’t be a difficult problem," Frantz Klintsevich, who is also the first deputy head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, told TASS.
Media reports said earlier on Tuesday that Louis Gautier, who heads an important government body, the General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN), was appointed by the French president to be in charge of talks with Russia on Mistrals.
French President Francois Hollande said on Sunday that negotiations were underway with Russia on the Mistral issue in an effort to "find the way out of the crisis." He said the issue could be discussed on April 24.
In comments to the reports, the Russian lawmaker said "it is not of principal importance who will hold talks with Russia on the Mistral-class helicopter carriers on the French side."
"France should finally decide whether it will hand over the ship to our country or give the money back," Klintsevich said. He said it is unclear what the Russian and the French sides will discuss on Friday.
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.