Russian Navy Still Strong Without Mistrals, C'est la Vie

© Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev / Go to the photo bankThe Vladivostok amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire
The Vladivostok amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire - Sputnik International
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According to the Head of the Presidential Administration of Russia, the country's defense won't suffer without the Mistrals.

The Sevastopol amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire. - Sputnik International
Russia to Accept Any Scenario With Mistral Helicopter Carriers
SHEREMETYEVO (Moscow Region), December 23 (Sputnik) – Russia's defense capability will not be affected should France refuse to hand over the Mistral helicopter carriers, the Head of the Presidential Administration, Sergei Ivanov, said Tuesday.

"Either of the two variants in the development of the situation suits us: either the ships or the money. I can honestly say that without the Mistrals, our country's defense won't suffer," Ivanov said.

Under the $1.5 billion contract signed in June 2011, France is to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy.

The handover of the first carrier, the Vladivostok, was originally scheduled for November 14, but France overran the deadline, with French President Francois Hollande citing the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine as a cause for the breakdown of the deal.

The Sevastopol amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire. - Sputnik International
Failure to Deliver Mistral Ships to Russia Puts France’s Reputation at Risk
Last week Russian sailors, who had been training in the French port of Saint-Nazaire since June to operate the vessels, returned to Russia. They were expected to remain in Saint-Nazaire until the first vessel, the Vladivostok, was handed over to the Russian Navy, according to a Russian military source.

Russia has repeatedly condemned France's failure to deliver on its contractual obligations, saying Paris would have to pay a large penalty if the deal were canceled.

On December 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow still expected the Mistral contract to be implemented.

Mistral — class helicopter carriers are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 troops.

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