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France to pay Russia less than €1 bln for Mistral non-delivery — government spokesman

August 26, 2015, 15:24 UTC+3 PARIS
The French government on Wednesday presented a bill on terminating the Mistral deal and paying compensations to Russia
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© AP Photo/David Vincent, File

PARIS, August 26. /TASS/. France’s compensations to Russia for the non-delivery of Mistral helicopter carriers will amount to less than €1 billion ($1.1 billion), French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll has said after the meeting of the Council of Ministers in the Elysee Palace.

"The sum of compensation reaches less than €1 billion," the spokesman said, adding that the French government on Wednesday presented a bill on terminating the Mistral deal and paying compensations to Russia.

The exact sum will be officially announced during the consideration of the respective bill in the French parliament, he said.

The speaker of France’s lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, Claude Bartolone, said earlier the MPs would study the dossier on Mistrals after they return to work on September 14.

French media reported Tuesday that after the decision to cancel the contract on Mistrals, France already paid Russia €950 million euros. However, these payments were carried out upon an urgent scheme without being approved by the government bodies. The Council of Ministers was expected to consider this issue on Wednesday.

The €1.12 billion contract for the construction of two Mistral-type helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy was signed in June 2011. Under the contract, Russia was expected to receive the first of the two warships, the Vladivostok, in the autumn of 2014. However, Paris suspended the ship’s handover to Russia at the very last moment over Moscow’s stance on developments in neighboring Ukraine.

It was planned that the second ship dubbed the Sevastopol would be handed over to Russia in the second half of 2015. But the deal was suspended like in the case with the first Mistral ship.

In early August, Russia and France reached an agreement to officially cancel the contract.

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