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BRUSSELS, June 05 /ITAR-TASS/. France to deliver its two Mistral-class helicopter-carrying warships to Russia in line with the schedule stated by the bilateral contract, if Europe imposes no further sanctions in regard to Moscow, French President Francois Hollande said.
“France will fulfill its contract obligations and sees no obstacles for delivering the warships on time,” Hollande said following the first day of the Group of Seven most industrialized countries (G7) summit in Brussels. “The situation will be certainly different…, if European sanctions are imposed [against Russia].”
The European Union jointly with the United States declared a set of sanctions against Russia earlier in the year, after the republic of Crimea seceded from conflict-hit Ukraine and later merged with neighboring Russia.
The 1.12 billion euro contract for building two Mistral-type ships was signed by the Russian defense exporting company Rosoboronexport and French DCNS in June of 2011. Under the contract, Russia is to receive the first of the two warships in October this year.
“If there are no further sanctions imposed before the end of October, the warships will be handed over to Russia. This is quite simple. Moreover, we must not forget that the breach of the contract envisages a multi-billion compensation,” Hollande said.
Russia is currently holding the rotating chair in the Group of Eight (G8) most industrialized countries, which besides Russia include France, the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan, Italy and Canada. However, on March 24, 2014, G7 leaders announced they would not attend the Sochi Summit in Russia and would instead hold a G7 meeting in Brussels on June 4-5, 2014.
The announcement came after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on March 21 the federal constitutional law on accession of two new constituent members to the Russian Federation - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.
Two Mistral-type ships are now under construction at Saint-Nazaire, France, and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Mistral landing 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.
The Mistral-type helicopter carriers have a displacement of 21 tons, maximum body length - 210 meters, speed - 18 knots, range - up to 20,000 miles. The crew is 170 members, and in addition it can take on board 450 people. Each ship is capable of carrying a fleet of 16 helicopters. Six of them can be simultaneously deployed on the flight-deck. The cargo deck can accommodate more than 40 tanks or 70 motorized vehicles.