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France taking no steps for Mistral's delivery to Russia — French defense minister

December 05, 2014, 12:18 UTC+3 PARIS
Helicopter carriers may be supplied if there are suitable political conditions for that
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© EPA/FRANCK DUBRAY/OUEST FRANCE

PARIS, December 5. /TASS/. France will supply helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ships Mistral to Russia if there are suitable political conditions for that, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the BMF television channel in an interview on Friday.

“If there are suitable political conditions, France will provide the helicopter carriers to Russia. We will see how the situation with the Ukrainian conflict will be evolving, and if the required changes have taken place. We will check if the achieved ceasefire agreement is observed as of December 9,” Le Drian said.

“At the moment we are taking no steps for the Mistrals’ delivery. Quite possible, if the necessary conditions fail to materialize, we will not provide the ships to Russia. The Russian side must be aware of that. We are unable to carry out supplies amid the current tensions when the principle of the inviolability of borders is not observed. For this reason France believes that at the moment such a supply would be ill-timed,” Le Drian said.

He recalled that President Francois Hollande last September claimed the necessary conditions for providing the first Russia-ordered Mistral class ship - The Vladivostok - were not in place.

“That position has been reaffirmed by the president once again. He said that France could not afford to provide such crucial military technologies at a time when the Minsk accords are not observed, the ceasefire not ensured, and the necessary political process not set in motion,” Le Drian said.

Infographics Mistral helicopter carrier Mistral helicopter carrier
Russia will purchase Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France. Infographics by TASS

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