00:22 GMT16 May 2021
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    Russia-France Mistral Deal (124)
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    Earlier, it was reported that France wanted to re-sell two Russian Mistrals to third parties; however the Russian side, citing a specific non-re-export clause in the arms deal contract, is against Paris’ decision.

    Louis Gartier, the head of France's Secretariat-General for National Defense and Security, arrived to Moscow on Monday in search of the best way to let Paris save face after the embarrassing situation with the failed Mistral deal with Russia, French Le Monde reported.

    Since France did not deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia, it must at least refund the money that Moscow already paid. Last Friday Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that France is willing to pay 784.6 million euros, however Russia wants to have 1.163 billion euros. It is worth mentioning that Russia bought the two Mistral ships for 1.2 billion euros in 2011.

    Earlier in May, French media reported that Paris thought about selling the Russian Mistrals to third parties. However, the Russian side is strongly against it. The arms deal contract signed by the two countries has a special clause that prohibits the re-export of the ships — a common occurrence in arms export deals.

    Furthermore, since the ships were custom-built for the Russian Navy according to its specifications and to fit Russian helicopters, the sale of the Mistrals to other countries would compromise Russian military secrets.

    "They can't sell them without our permission," Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.

    Rogozin also said that stern parts of the two ships were built in St. Petersburg before getting transported to France for further assembly.

    Now France is not sure what to do with the two Mistrals. Earlier this month, it was reported that the French Navy does not want the ships, as they already have enough hardware as it is. Currently, the Mistrals are berthed at the port in Saint-Nazaire. The upkeep and maintenance of the ships is costing French tax payers an astonishing 5 million euros per month.

    French defense experts are outraged by the situation, with some of them saying it would be best just to sink the ships.

    The Mistral deal was signed in June 2011. France was supposed to handover the first ship last November; however Paris decided to put the delivery on hold, citing Russia's alleged intervention in the Ukrainian crisis.

    Russia-France Mistral Deal (124)


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    France, Mistral, money, Mistral delivery, Russian Navy, Dmitry Rogozin, Russia
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