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France to cause long-term damage to relations with Russia if refuses to deliver Mistral

September 04, 2014, 21:52 UTC+3 PARIS

France’s decision to suspend the delivery of the first out of two Mistral ships to Russia has dealt a blow to the French-Russian relations, the Franco-Russian Dialogue Association warns

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© AP Photo/David Vincent/Archive

PARIS, September 04. /ITAR-TASS/. France would seriously damage its relations with Moscow if it decides to cancel the delivery of Mistral class helicopter carriers to Russia, the influential Franco-Russian Dialogue Association comprising politicians and businessmen, warned on Thursday.

France’s decision to suspend the delivery of the first out of two Mistral ships to Russia has dealt a blow to the French-Russian relations at a time when Russia is showing concrete efforts to reach political and humanitarian deescalation in Ukraine, the Franco-Russian Dialogue said.

A decision to cancel all supplies to Russia would cause a long-term fracture in reciprocal ties which have seen active and dynamic cooperation in areas like aviation, space, defense and high technologies.

“Politically, it will mean that France will lose its privileged status, which it has always had in recent years, in maintaining a dialogue with Russia,” an association’s members warned.

Paris will have to pay an economic, social and financial price if it decides to annul the Mistral contract with Russia. French businessmen believe that even this temporary suspension has already undermined Russia’s trust in France and its ability to meet international contractual obligations. The Franco-Russian Dialogue said that France should return to a realistic view of things and not to sacrifice business ties to those who are going to benefit from the two countries’ mutual estrangement.

The Franco-Russian Dialogue headquartered in Paris was founded in 2004 under the patronage of Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac. For the moment, it is being co-chaired by the former French transport minister, Thierry Mariani, and Russian Railways President Vladimir Yakunin. The association’s aim is to strengthen strategic relations and privileged partnership between Russia and France and develop an effective formal dialogue among businessmen and civil societies.

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