MOSCOW, October 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is not dependent on France in building own helicopter carriers similar to French Mistral-class carriers, and is capable to build such warships itself, Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Rear Adm. Victor Bursuk stated Saturday.
"We are not dependent on France in any way, it is just one of the contracts of military-technical cooperation and nothing more. The [Russian] shipbuilding program planned building warships of this class, and it will certainly be implemented," Bursuk said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio.
On Thursday, Kremlin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said Russia would sue France if Paris refused to honor the Mistral contract.
Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.5 billion) deal for two Mistral-class helicopter carriers 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.