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France Honoring its Mistral Contract Obligations – Lavrov

© Sputnik / Danichev Aleksey / Go to the photo bankFrance Honoring its Mistral Contract Obligations – Lavrov
France Honoring its Mistral Contract Obligations – Lavrov - Sputnik International
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France is honoring all obligations it undertook under a contract to build Mistral-class helicopter-carrying warships for Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – France is honoring all obligations it undertook under a contract to build Mistral-class helicopter-carrying warships for Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.

“France is a bit more serious about its contractual obligations than the Ukrainian government at the moment,” Lavrov said in an English-language interview aired by Bloomberg.

While speaking in Washington on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that Paris must legally fulfill its contract with Russia for the delivery of two Mistral helicopter-carrying warships, but the decision could still be reviewed.

“I know that most European countries do not have any appetite for confrontation with Russia, especially for economic confrontation,” Lavrov said.

“We are not going to violate a single contractual obligation, to Europe or to anyone else. And I believe that this is the way any serious businessman, any serious politician should behave,” he added.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen confirmed last week that NATO has frozen its military cooperation with Russia and recommended other countries do the same.

The US said on May 8 that it opposes the sale of Mistral warships to Russia because it would boost Russia’s military power, including in regions far away from its borders.

Under a June 2011 contract signed between Russia and France, the first French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, the Vladivostok, will be delivered to Russia by the end of the year, while the second ship, the Sevastopol, is due to arrive next year.

The ships are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 soldiers and are expected to be deployed with Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

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