Failure to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia will not affect the country's defense capabilities, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yevgeny Lukyanov told journalists on Tuesday.
"Of course not. It's not a big loss," Lukyanov said.
Back in 2011, Russia and France signed a $1.3 billion deal for the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers. The first ship was supposed to be delivered last November, but France decided to put the delivery on hold, citing Russia's alleged interference in the Ukrainian crisis. Moscow denied the accusations and urged Paris to follow through on its contractual obligations.
After the Mistral deal with France failed, Oleg Bochkaryov, a deputy chairman of the Russian Military Industrial Complex, said Russia will now build its own helicopter-carriers.
"We have these types of ships planned… but we will build them a bit differently. We're not going to blatantly copy the [French] Mistral [design] right out," Bochkaryov told journalists.