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    Russia in final stage of talks to buy 4 Mistral class warships

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    Russia has reached the final stage of talks on the purchase of four French Mistral class helicopter carriers, the Russian defense minister said on Monday.

    Russia has reached the final stage of talks on the purchase of four French Mistral class helicopter carriers, the Russian defense minister said on Monday.

    "At the moment we are in pre-contract talks on the warships with three states: Spain, the Netherlands and France. We plan to sign a contract for four of these ships," Anatoly Serdyukov said.

    Serdyukov said one vessel would be built abroad and the other three with the help of Russian shipbuilders. He said the full construction of the fourth vessel would take place in Russia.

    If they are purchased, the ships will be deployed by the Northern and Pacific Fleets.

    Many Russian military and industry experts have questioned the financial and military sense of the purchase, and some believe that Russia simply wants to gain access to advanced naval technology that could be used in the future in potential conflicts with NATO and its allies.

    MOSCOW, May 24 (RIA Novosti)

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