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Rosoboronexport expects France to honor Mistral contract

May 14, 2014, 15:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russia’s state-run arms trader Rosoboronexport spokesman said Russia had not yet made final payments under the contract
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Launching of the aft of Russian Navy Mistral class helicopter carrier

Launching of the aft of Russian Navy Mistral class helicopter carrier

© ITAR-TASS/Denis Vyshinsky

MOSCOW, May 14. /ITAR-TASS/ Russia’s state-run arms trader Rosoboronexport expects France to keep the terms of a contract for the construction of Mistral-class amphibious assault ships for Russia, a Rosoboronexport spokesman said on Wednesday.

“Rosoboronexport hopes that the terms of the contract will not be altered as the parties’ obligations are legally sealed and failure to fulfill them will inevitably entail retaliatory actions,” the spokesman said.

Rosoboronexport confirmed that France was strictly complying with the schedule for the construction of helicopter carriers and was even seeking to outpace it “which evidences the reliability of the French side as a partner.”

The Rosoboronexport spokesman said Russia had not yet made final payments under the contract.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius earlier said Paris did not plan to give up the agreement on the delivery of Mistral-class warships to Russia despite sanctions imposed by the EU on Russia over its stance on the Ukraine events. The French foreign minister said a final decision would be made in October “due to the (internal) administrative process.” He did not rule out that the French government would reassess the legal aspects of the deal in October.

France is expected to deliver the first Mistral ship to Russia in October while the second Mistral-class helicopter carrier is due to be handed over in 2016. The contract also stipulates an option to build two more amphibious assault ships for Russia.

The 1.12 billion euro contract for the construction of Mistral warships for the Russian Navy was signed in June 2011 in St. Petersburg.

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