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France to consider draft deal on payments for Mistrals to Russia on Wednesday — media

August 25, 2015, 21:01 UTC+3 PARIS
The draft will be discussed at a meeting of the French Council of Ministers
1 pages in this article
© ITAR-TASS/Vadim Zhernov

PARIS, August 25. /TASS/. A draft agreement regarding the size of France’s payment for the severed deal to supply Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia will be considered Wednesday, August 26, at a meeting of the French Council of Ministers, sources in the Elysee Palace told AFP.

Earlier, French Finance Michel Sapin said the size of payments France will make to Russia in connection with the termination of the contract to build and supply two Mistral helicopter carriers will be "less than €1 billion."

Later, French President Francois Hollande said during a visit to Egypt that the sum "will be less than €1.2 billion", that was the initial cost of the contract. The president explained that the exact size of payments will be reported to parliament when it considers the issue in mid-September.

The €1.12-billion contract to build the Mistral amphibious assault ships for the Russian navy was signed in June 2011.

The first Mistral, the Vladivostok, was floated in October 2013. It was to have been handed over to Russia by the French side in November 2014, but the handover did not take place.

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

The second Mistral, the Sevastopol, was to be delivered to Russia in October 2015, but the deal was suspended too.

France suspended the delivery of Mistrals to Russia as part of a package of sanctions the European countries imposed on Moscow for what they claimed was its alleged role in destabilization of east Ukraine.

Russia has constantly dismissed allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.

Earlier Tuesday, French media reported that France paid Russia €950 million as a result of Mistral contract cancelation.

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