France unfazed by Russian tender, Mistral talks ongoing
PARIS, August 20 (RIA Novosti) - Paris is continuing negotiations with Moscow on the purchase of a Mistral-class warship and is not concerned about Russia's decision to call a tender for the construction of two helicopter carriers, a spokeswoman for the French presidential administration said on Friday.
"France has no cause for concern over the current developments and negotiations are ongoing," she said.
Russia is holding talks with France on the purchase of Mistral-class warships on a 2+2 scheme whereby Russia will buy one or two French-built Mistrals and build another two under license at home.
The presidential spokeswoman said the Elysee Palace would not comment on the possibility of France participating in the Russian tender.
Earlier on Friday, Russian Defense Minister Serdyukov said the ministry had announced an international tender for the construction of two amphibious assault ships.
He said the Mistral manufacturer could participate in the tender, which will take place in September.
The results of the tender will be announced before the end of the year.
On Thursday, business daily Kommersant said Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) was set to bid with three shipyards including Zvezda Shipbuilding Company in the Russian Far East, St. Petersburg's Admiralteyskiye Verfi shipyard and the Yantar shipyard in Russia's Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad.
At the end of August, a French delegation is expected to visit the Yantar shipyard to look into the possibility of building Mistral-class ships there.
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