France's non-fulfilment of its obligations to hand over Mistal helicopter carriers to Russia will serve as another incentive to become less dependent on foreign military components, Russia's permanent representative to NATO said.
MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) — France's refusal to hand over two Mistral-class helicopter carriers will discredit Paris and further encourage Moscow's efforts at import substitution, Russia's permanent representative to the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) said Friday.
"This was a sign of confidence in our partners. Therefore, one side's unwillingness [and] inability to fulfill the terms of its contracts will of course have serious consequences for this confidence," Alexander Grushko said during a video conference from Brussels.
The envoy added that France's non-fulfilment of its contractual obligations "will serve as another incentive to become less dependent on foreign [military] components."
According to the terms of the $1.5-billion contract signed in June 2011, Paris was due to deliver the first of the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers, the Vladivostok, to the Russian Navy by November 14. However, French President Francois Hollande put the transfer on hold, citing Russia's alleged role in the ongoing Ukrainian crisis.
Moscow has repeatedly denied its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict and warned Paris that it would face large penalties should it fail to deliver on its contractual obligations.
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