Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro (some $1.5 billion at the current exchange rate) deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, is expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, is supposed to arrive in 2015.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia is satisfied with the results of Mistral-class helicopter carrier deal.
France pulled out of the USD$1.3 billion deal to sell two Mistral assault ships to Russia, following pressure from eastern European NATO member states, it has been revealed.
France will pay less than one billion euro for the cancellation of the contract to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia.
The West framed the $1.3 billion deal between France and Russia for the delivery of two Mistral warships as Moscow's attempt to build up its military power while many experts see the contract as a move primarily aimed at fostering closer ties with Paris, Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) reported.
In an interview with Radio Sputnik, Yvan Blot, an advisor to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, called Paris' decision not to deliver the two Mistral warships to Russia "scandalous," adding that François Hollande chose "to be a good friend of the United States" instead of supporting French workers and keeping his word.
France has seriously discredited itself by signing a document to cancel the contract for the construction and delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia, Marine Le Pen, the president of the National Front, the third-largest political party in France, said Thursday.
A group of French citizens living in Russia, known as “The Free Frenchmen” (Les Français Libres), started a petition asking the government in Paris to stop anti-Russian sanctions and to follow through with the Mistral deal, Le Figaro reported.
Kremlin announced on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande had made a joint decision on the termination of the contract for the construction and delivery of two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, signed in June 2011.
The settlement terms of the contract for the delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia stipulate that France will pay a refund of less than 1.2 billion euro ($1.32 billion at current exchange rates), French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Thursday.
Paris transferred over 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to a Russian bank as compensation for terminating the deal to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to the Russian Navy "in utmost secrecy," the Kommersant newspaper reported, citing an unnamed source.
France has surrendered to the influence of the United States and Europe deciding to terminate the contract on construction and delivery of Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Moscow, former Minister of Transport Thierry Mariani said Wednesday.
Finding a new use for the Mistral helicopter carrier ships, built specifically for Russian military needs, might turn out problematic for France, Russia’s State Duma Defense Committee Member Franz Klintsevich told Ria Novosti Wednesday.
If French President Francois Hollande fails to secure the Mistral deal with Russia, he will have to explain the decision in front of the entire French nation, Thierry Mariani and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, members of the French Union for a Popular Movement party, said in an official letter addressed to Hollande, according to Atlantico website.
The decision not to transfer two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships built for the Russian Navy amounts to a "historic mistake" and goes against the political and industrial interests of France, politician Florian Philippot said, urging François Hollande to restore working relations with Moscow.
France and Russia have not settled the Mistral contract termination, according to Francois Hollande.
France is rumored to have agreed to pay Russia 1.16 billion euros ($1.27 billion) as a compensation for refusing to deliver two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships built for the Russian Navy, the Kommersant newspaper reported, citing unnamed sources.
The sides completed talks on the termination of the Mistral delivery contract, Vladimir Putin's aide said.
Having decided to indefinitely suspend the ill-fated Mistral deal with Russia, France has found itself in a lose-lose situation: Paris will either pay a financial price or will lose face regardless of the course of action it chooses, Le Point noted.
Commenting on President Francois Hollande's announcement that he would take a few weeks to decide whether or not to deliver the Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia, Jean-Claude Blanchard, municipal councilor in the port city of Saint-Nazaire, told Sputnik that the city's residents are tired of French politicians' flip-flopping on the issue.
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