May 27, 2015

Russia no longer wants French-made Mistral helicopter carriers

Russia is no longer interested in receiving the two helicopter carrier ships ordered from France but which Paris held back due to the Ukraine crisis, and has decided to build its own vessels instead.
Under a €1.12bn contract signed between Moscow and Paris in 2011, France was due to deliver one Mistral helicopter carrier last autumn and another in the second half of this year. But France, suspended the deal last year amid anger over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its role in the war in eastern Ukraine.
After initial threats from Russia’s defence ministry that it might take legal action over the non-fulfilment of the deal, Moscow switched to handling the issue in a more low-key manner — the Kremlin has just said that Russia expects to receive either the ships or its money back.
Russian media reported this month that France had proposed that Paris compensate Moscow with a €785m payment on condition that it would be allowed to sell the vessels on to another party. But Moscow demands a payment of at least €1.1bn.

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