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    Hollande Cancelled Mistral Deal Fearing EU Leaders 'Will Attack Him'

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    Deal Cancelled: What Will Paris Do With Russia's Mistrals? (57)
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    French President Francois Hollande cancelled the contract for construction and delivery of two Mistral-class vessels to Russia over fears he would be criticized by EU leaders, a French lawmaker told Sputnik on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Member of the French Senate Yves Pozzo di Borgo explained that if Hollande had allowed the construction and delivery of the two Mistral ships to Russia he would have lost the confidence of the EU leaders.

    “I think the reason he didn’t sell the Mistrals is that he didn’t want to be attacked by the 28 countries,” Yves Pozzo di Borgo said.

    On Wednesday, France officially announced the cancellation of the 2011 deal on construction and delivery of the two Mistral warships to Russia.

    Hollande’s decision received fierce criticism in France. Yvan Blot, adviser to former France President Nicolas Sarkozy, said that the decision was a huge blow to France’s reputation as an arms seller. Marine Le Pen, president of the National Front, the third-largest political party in France said that the country had seriously discredited itself after Hollande cancelled the deal.

    Russia and France signed a 1.2-billion-euro ($1.3 billion) agreement for the purchase of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers in 2011. The deal was suspended by Paris in 2014 as the crisis in Ukraine escalated. France, among a number of Western countries, blamed Russia for allegedly interfering in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, a claim Moscow has firmly denied.

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    Deal Cancelled: What Will Paris Do With Russia's Mistrals? (57)

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    Tags:
    European Union, France, Mistral, Francois Hollande, Europe, Russia
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