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France has to agree Mistral helicopter carrier buyer with Russia — source

August 31, 2015, 16:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The media has already named a whole number of prospective buyers for the Mistral helicopter carriers, including Egypt and Malaysia
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© AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. France has to agree a prospective buyer for Mistral helicopter carriers with Russia, with no time limits set for such approval, an informed source in the Russian government said on Monday.

"Russia must approve a prospective buyer while no time limits for this approval are set," the source said.

The source also said France won't be able to sell the vessls untill all the Russian equipment has been dismantled, and that may happen not earlier than late autumn.

According to previous reports, the first team of Russian specialists was dispatched to France to discuss the timeframe of dismantling the equipment from the Mistral ships. A source in the military-technical cooperation system told TASS that the second Russian team was likely to come to France in early October.

Telecommunications and control systems for the two helicopter carriers were designed and manufactured by the Russian Sistemy Upravleniya corporation.

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.

News came in the summer of 2015 that Russia and France had agreed on the fate of the two Mistral helicopter carriers.

Under the agreement, Russia would get back its money paid for the Mistral construction, after France would be able to use the amphibious ships at its discretion.

The media has already named a whole number of prospective buyers for the Mistral helicopter carriers, including Egypt and Malaysia.

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

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