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    Vladivostok amphibious assault ship of the French Mistral class in the docks of SNX France

    Expected Blowback: Mistral Fiasco 'Damaged France's Reputation'

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    Deal Cancelled: What Will Paris Do With Russia's Mistrals? (57)
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    France's failure to deliver two Mistral warships to Russia came at a high cost to Paris: the country suffered both financial and image losses, French politician Claude Goasguen asserted during a roundtable discussion at the French-Russian Dialogue Association.

    "Coincidentally today the French National Assembly will discuss the Mistral issue. In theory, this discussion should not be taking place but it is necessary… Several weeks ago we settled the Mistral issue and it cost us a lot," Goasguen said.

    The politician, who is a member of the National Assembly and the mayor of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, also noted that the MPs who took part in the work of a Commission on International Relations did not know that the price for the non-delivery would be so high.

    A picture shows the Vladivostok warship, a Mistral-class LHD amphibious vessel ordered by Russia from STX France in Saint-Nazaire, western France, on December 20, 2014
    © AFP 2019 / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD
    A picture shows the Vladivostok warship, a Mistral-class LHD amphibious vessel ordered by Russia from STX France in Saint-Nazaire, western France, on December 20, 2014

    "The Mistral issue has damaged France's reputation and paints it as a country that fails to deliver on its promises," he added, echoing popular reaction to the way the French handled the $1.3 billion contract inked in 2011.

    Goasguen expressed hope that the two countries would be able to improve their relations despite the implications of the French refusal to fulfil its obligations under the deal.

    The delivery of the two Mistral helicopter carriers built for the Russian Navy was put on hold in 2014. France cited Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian civil war as a reason although Moscow is not a party to the conflict in the neighboring country.

    On Thursday, the French parliament approved a bill on the termination of the contract. Paris is currently trying to find a new buyer for the Vladivostok and the Sevastopol docked at a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire.

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

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    Tags:
    France, reputation, arms deal, amphibious assault ship, helicopter carrier, Mistral, Claude Goasguen, Russia
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