MOSCOW, May 26. /TASS/. A senior Russian lawmaker and a former commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet said on Tuesday France should be fined for its refusal to deliver Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia.
"Apart from costs, direct and indirect, I believe a fine should be imposed for dishonesty, state dishonesty," Vladimir Komoyedov, head of the Defense Committee of the State Duma (the lower house of Russia’s parliament) told TASS news agency.
The senior Russian lawmaker said Russia should apply to international courts on this issue.
Deputy Chairman of the Russian Defense and Industrial Commission Board Oleg Bochkaryov said earlier on Tuesday Russia had given up Mistral-class amphibious ships ordered in France and was now discussing only the sum of compensation.
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.
The Mistral-type helicopter carriers have a displacement of 21 tons, the maximum body length of 210 meters, the speed of 18 knots and the range of up to 20,000 miles.
The helicopter carrier can accommodate 450 people in addition to its crew of 180. It carries 16 helicopters, of which six can be simultaneously stored on the flight-deck.
A compartment in the cargo deck can accommodate more than 40 tanks or 70 motorized vehicles. Mistral helicopter carriers are capable of performing four tasks at the same time: receive helicopters, land troops, and act as a command post and a floating hospital.