NOVO OGARYOVO, October 29 (RIA Novosti) — Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport has been invited to attend the handover of the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier built by France for the Russian navy, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Wednesday.
"Rosoboronexport has received an invitation to arrive [in France] for the handover of the Vladivostok warship and to attend the floating out ceremony for the second [Mistral-class] vessel," told reporters at a news conference outside Moscow.
"From a technical point of view, the contract is being fulfilled on schedule," Rogozin said.
"It's up to [French]President [Francois] Hollande now to make a political decision," he added.
Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.5 billion at the current exchange rate) deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, is expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, is supposed to arrive in 2015.
The completion of the deal has been at risk since the West started implementing targeted economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.
In September, French leader threatened to suspend the deliveries of the ships, citing alleged involvement of Russia in the Ukrainian conflict – a claim that Moscow repeatedly denied.