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French defense minister: issue of Mistral delivery to Russia not on agenda

February 16, 2015, 10:40 UTC+3
French President Francois Hollande earlier said there were no conditions for delivering Mistral-type helicopter carriers to Russia despite new agreements on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis
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© EPA/EDDY LEMAISTRE

PARIS, february 16. /TASS/. The issue of delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia is not on the current agenda, France's Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told the RMC radio station.

French President Francois Hollande earlier said there were no conditions for delivering Mistral-type helicopter carriers to Russia despite new agreements on the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis.

Russia signed a €1.2 billion contract with France in June 2011. The contract stipulates construction of two Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy. The first warship - the Vladivostok - was to be handed over to Russia in autumn 2014 but the French side postponed the delivery citing the conflict in Ukraine.

The second Mistral helicopter carrier - the Sevastopol - was floated out in November. Under the contract, the Russian Fleet is to receive it in 2015.

A source told TASS earlier that under the contract France is allowed to postpone the delivery of the first Mistral warship for three months, starting November 1, 2014.

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said in November Russia would be acting strictly in line with the contract and would file a lawsuit if the Mistral warship is not delivered.

France’s penalty may amount to around €3 billion, media reports said.

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

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