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.
French lawmaker Jacques Myard said that there was no justification for linking the fulfillment of the obligations under the contract with the Ukrainian crisis.
During this week consultations in Moscow, Russia and France discussed the situations related to the return of Russian equipment which was installed on the ships, a source said.
With the $1.3 billion Mistral deal suspended indefinitely, France desperately needs a solution to the problem of its own making: how to deal with the warships Paris refuses to hand over to Russia?
Russian Conglomerate Radio-Electronic Technologies, or KRET, has offered to develop state-of-the-art defensive electronic warfare systems for an amphibious assault ship Russia could build as a substitute for the two Mistral helicopter carriers France failed to deliver under a $1.3 billion deal.
The two Mistral-class helicopter carriers built for the Russian Navy will not be delivered to Russia and the cancellation of the contract could cost Paris $1.3 billion, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Monday.
The United States has not given any indication they would purchase the Mistral warships from France, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a speech to the US German Marshall Fund.
France's failure to deliver two Mistral helicopter carriers has shown the hypocrisy of Paris, French media AgoraVox wrote.
Russian-made Priboy and Lavina, two amphibious helicopter carriers, will replace the Mistral-class warships that France failed to deliver to Russia.
French government agencies are fighting over the future of the Mistral deal, French political analyst Xavier Moreau told Radio Sputnik.
Russia's projected helicopter carrier Lavina is even larger than France's Mistral.
French software company and partner of Mistral maker DCNS, Dassault Systemes, said that it is ready to provide Russia's shipbuilding industry with 3D modeling tools.
Russia and France will discuss the deal for the delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers built for the Russian Navy in June after negotiators failed to reach an agreement in May, a source told RIA Novosti.
France is desperately searching for what Reuters called "a face-saving compromise" with Moscow over the stalled deal for the delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers built by the Western European nation for the Russian Navy.
France has completed its construction of a second Russian-commissioned Mistral helicopter carrier in Saint-Nazaire, a port town in the country's northwest, according to local media reports.
The cancellation of the Mistral deal failed to bring any political outcomes to France and now the country is in a “ridiculous situation,” said Caroline Galacteros, a French Political Science professor.
French and Russian negotiators were unable to achieve any progress on the Mistral issue when the French delegation visited Moscow on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation said Friday.
It was a big mistake that France terminated the Mistral deal with Russia, as nothing legally obliged Paris to cancel the arms export contract, said Thierry Mariani, the former French Minister of Transportation.
Russia is capable of building its own equivalent of Mistral-class helicopter carrier equipped with nuclear power engines as Moscow is aware of the design of the French-made ship, deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma's Committee on Industry Vladimir Gutenev told RIA Novosti.
Leader of the French National Front party Marine Le Pen has criticized Paris for failing to fulfil its contractual obligations and deliver Mistral helicopter carriers worth 1.3 billion dollars to Russia.