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PARIS, October 30. /TASS/. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said on Thursday the conditions have not been yet met to deliver Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia.
"The conditions today are not met to deliver the Mistral (to Russia)," he said in an interview with RTL radio.
A spokesman for the contractor company DCNS, Emmanuel Gaudez, said on Wednesday no date of the handover has been confirmed. Sources with knowledge of situation told TASS the ceremony is planned for mid-November.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday the first Mistral helicopter carrier will be handed over to Russia by the French side on November 14.
“Rosoboronexport has received an invitation to arrive in Saint-Nazaire on November 14 where there are 360 Russian navy sailors and 60 instructors for training new crews, to hand over the first Vladivostok ship and for putting afloat the second ship,” Rogozin said.
The €1.12 billion contract for building Mistrals for the Russian Navy was reached in June 2011. The first Mistral-class ship, the Vladivostok, was expected to be delivered by late 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, was due to arrive next year.
Both warships are being contructed at the STX shipyards in Saint-Nazaire, in western France.