Updated 2:39 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) – Paris did not notify Moscow about cancelling the Mistral-class warship deal and the delivery schedule remains unchanged, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Tuesday.
“No formal cancellations were received. The schedule remains unchanged,” the minister said.
Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro ($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.
The completion of the deal has been at risk since the West started implementing targeted economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.
In September, French President Francois Hollande threatened to suspend the delivery of the ships, citing alleged involvement of Russia in the Ukrainian conflict – a claim that Moscow repeatedly denied.
Hollande later stated he would make the decision in late October. The president added that the two conditions for the delivery of the ships are an observed ceasefire in Ukraine and a political settlement of the conflict.
Moscow stated that if the contact was cancelled, Paris would have to pay a large penalty. Russia also said that if anything went wrong, the country would be able to build an analogue to the Mistral by itself.