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Kremlin: Situation over Mistral helicopter carriers not considered as problematic

May 15, 2015, 13:21 UTC+3 SOCHI
"Moscow is prepared for either solution - the product or the money," says Vladimir Putin's press secretary
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© AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni

SOCHI, May 15. /TASS/. The situation over France’s failure to deliver Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia is not being considered in the Kremlin as "problematic," Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.

"At the moment, this issue is not in the category of problematic ones," Peskov stressed.

Peskov said the issue was not discussed at the meetings on the Russian military-industrial complex that Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding these days in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

"This Mistral issue has no relation to the agenda of the meetings being conducted this week by the president," Peskov said.

The Kremlin spokesman reminded that the issue was raised at the meeting between the Russian and French presidents in Armenia’s Yerevan in late April where the sides in particular confirmed the agreements in principle - either the ships or the money.

"The principle is this: the product or the money," Peskov said. "This principle was fixed at the mentioned meeting," he added.

Asked if Russia was prepared to the severing of the contracts in the current situation, the Kremlin official said: "Moscow is prepared for either solution - the product or the money."

Peskov refused to comment on other details concerning France’s possible compensation for the money paid by Russia for creating the necessary infrastructure and other expenses to receive the helicopter carriers.

Earlier on Friday, the Kommersant daily reported citing the "sources in the sphere of military-technical cooperation" that France had addressed Moscow with its proposals for severing the Mistral contract.=

These proposals "imply the return of about €785 million to Russia, which it will be able to get back only after the government has issued permission to selling the ships to any third party without any reservations," the daily said, adding that Moscow was reportedly against such an approach.

According to the report, Russia estimates the spending on and losses from the cancellation of the contract at €1.163 billion and is not going to issue any re-export permissions until it has the money back.

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

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