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    The Sevastopol amphibious assault ship of the Mistral class at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire.

    Russia to Accept Any Scenario With Mistral Helicopter Carriers

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    Russia-France Mistral Deal (124)
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    The Russian Defense Ministry is ready for any decision of France regarding the Mistral deal. Moscow expects Paris to hand over the helicopter carriers or return the money Russia paid for the ships.

    MOSCOW, December 20 (Sputnik) – Russia will accept any development of the situation with Mistral-class helicopter carriers, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said Saturday.

    “We will accept any scenario of Mistral deal developments. It is not important whether the decision will be made on December 31 or January 1, 2015, we are awaiting France’s decision,” Borisov told reporters,, adding that both ships delivery or refund of all the money invested in the project will equally suit Moscow.

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

    The handover of the first carrier, the Vladivostok, was originally scheduled for November 14, 2014 but France overran the deadline, with French President Francois Hollande citing the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine as a cause for the breakdown in the deal.

    On December 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow expected the contract to be fulfilled. Russian Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov later announced that Moscow's position on the delivery of Mistral-class helicopter carriers from France boils down to two options: either the ships or a refund.

    On Thursday, Russian sailors who had trained to operate the vessels since June in the French port of Saint-Nazaire, returned to Russia. Previously, they were expected to remain in Saint-Nazaire until the Vladivostok vessel was handed over to the Russian Navy, according to a Russian military source.

    Mistral Amphibious Assault Helicopter Carrier
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    Mistral Amphibious Assault Helicopter Carrier
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    Russia-France Mistral Deal (124)

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    Tags:
    France, Mistral, Mistral delivery, Russian Navy, Russian Defense Ministry, Vladimir Putin, Francois Hollande, Yuri Borisov, Yury Ushakov, Russia
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