Russia will make a final decision on whether to buy a French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship by the end of the year, the Russian ambassador to France said on Friday.
Russia is holding talks with France on the purchase of Mistral-class warships on a 2+2 scheme whereby Russia will buy one or two French-built Mistrals and build another two under license at home.
"Very serious negotiations have been ongoing since March and we need to decide whether or not to buy [them]," Alexander Orlov said.
He said under Russian laws, "any such purchases are to be made through a tender," adding that France had fairly good chances to win it.
"That is, of course, if they make a more interesting offer," he said.
The envoy said the final decision "will be made by a special commission."
Russian Defense Minister Serdyukov said on August 20 that the ministry had announced an international tender for the construction of two amphibious assault ships and that the results of the tender would be announced before the end of the year.
BREST (France), September 3 (RIA Novosti)