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BRUSSELS, November 26. /TASS/. NATO has not influenced France’s decision to suspend delivery of the first Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia, a source of the organization told TASS on Tuesday.
NATO plays no role in the matter. As was already said, all the allies are expected to take national decisions, taking into consideration current relations between NATO and Russia, the official added.
Earlier on Tuesday, President Francois Hollande said France suspended delivery of the first of two Mistrals ordered by Russia, citing the current situation in eastern Ukraine.
The president considers that the situation in the east of Ukraine still does not permit the delivery of the first BPC (helicopter carrying and command vessel), said a statement from President Hollande's office.
"He has therefore decided that it is appropriate to suspend, until further notice, examination of the request for the necessary authorization to export the first BCP to the Russian Federation." the Elysee Palace statement said.
France has been under pressure for months from its Western allies to scrap the 1.2-billion-euro (dlrs 1.58 billion) contract, but faces potential compensation claims. Russia has repeatedly warned Paris of "serious consequences" unless France delivers the first of two helicopter carriers by the end of November.
The contract to deliver Mistrals for Russia's Navy was signed in June 2011. The first warship named Vladivostok was launched in October 2013. It was planned to be handed over to Russia in a ceremony on November 14, 2014. However, France postponed the delivery indefinitely. The second named Sevastopol was launched on November 20.