Nov 9, 2014

Russia Willing to Wait Until End of Year On Mistral Deal

Russia is willing to wait until the end of the year for France to make good on the delivery of the first ship in two hull amphibious warship deal that has been held up since September.
Quoting an unnamed defense industry official, a news service said Russia was taking a wait and see approach with France’s suspension of the delivery of the two Mistral-class warships.
The first ship — Vladivostok — was supposed to be delivered to Russia in October but the transfer was suspended in September.
However, since then ultimate fate of the shipbuilding deal has been an open question and France has done little clarify its conditions other than saying there should be a ceasefire in Ukraine.
“The conditions have not today been met for delivering the [first] Mistral,” Finance Minister told France’s RTL radio in late October, following the release of an alleged letter from shipbuilder DCNS to the Russian agency Rosoboronexport giving a date for the transfer agency.
On Thursday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls repeated the Hollande administration position in a press conference in Belgrade.
As to what will happen if the deal doesn’t get completed by the end of the year is also unclear.

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