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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Litigation Possible if France Fails to Honor Warship Deal With Russia

Sputnik News

20:58 21.11.2014(updated 21:40 21.11.2014)

Russia is not ruling out legal action against France if the latter fails to honor Mistral warships deal.

MOSCOW, November 21 (Sputnik) – Russia will not rule out legal action against France if it fails to honor its 2010 contract to deliver two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships for Russia, Russia's envoy to NATO, Alexander Grushko, said Friday.

"Quite likely, France has been under unprecedented pressure on this issue. Its reputation of a defense cooperation partner and a global player on the international arena is at stake," he said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV channel.

"But if it fails to honor the contract, then political action will follow, and, of course, there is a possibility for a litigation over huge investments that were made into this project," he added.

Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The vessels, capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 troops, are expected to join Russia's Pacific Fleet.

The deal, however, has been at risk since the conflict in Ukraine started to escalate. The West, blaming Moscow for its alleged aggressive policy toward Ukraine has introduced several rounds of sanctions on Russia. In October, French President Francois Hollande threatened to suspend the deliveries of the ships to Russia.

The handover of the first ship, the Vladivostok, was scheduled for November 14, but did not take place. Russia has condemned France's failure to deliver on its contractual obligations, saying Paris would have to pay a large penalty if the deal was canceled.


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