Conditions for Mistral Delivery to Russia Not Met: French PM
Updated 9:43 p.m. Moscow Time
PARIS, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - The conditions for delivery of French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia have not been met, AFP reported Thursday citing French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.
'You know the French stand [on Mistral issue]. Today the conditions have not been met for their [warships] delivery to Russia,' Valls said at a news conference in Belgrade.
On October 30, media reported that French Finance Minister Michel Sapin also said the conditions have not been met for the handover of the Mistral to Russia.
Later that day, an official from the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said Moscow had not received any information from Paris in regard to why the helicopter carrier contract could not be fulfilled.
A high-ranking Russian defense industry source said earlier on Thursday that Moscow was ready to wait until the end of 2014 to finalize the transfer of the first ship.
Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.5 billion) deal for the delivery of two Mistral-class warships in June 2011. The first vessel, the Vladivostok, is expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, is supposed to arrive in 2015.
However, the deal has been at risk since the West began imposing economic sanctions on Russia because of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. French President Francois Hollande said in September France could suspend the deliveries of the ships to Russia.
In May, a source in the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces said Russia's plans were to deploy the helicopter carriers in the Pacific Ocean.
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