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Russia: No Formal Refusal From France On Two Ship Mistral Deal

Russian Mistral Vladivostok under construction on April 22, 2014. U.S. Naval Institute Combat Fleets of the World Photo

Russian Mistral Vladivostok under construction on April 22, 2014. U.S. Naval Institute Combat Fleets of the World Photo

Despite strong language from the French President François Hollande, Russia has not received formal notification from France suspending or cancelling the $1.53 billion deal for two Mistral-class amphibious warship deal, Russian officials said on Tuesday.

“We have not received any official refusals,” Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, reported Russian wire service ITAR-TASS.
“The contract schedule has not changed.”

Under the original terms, France was to handover the first ship — Vladivostok — at the end of October.

In September Hollande’s office issued a statement saying, absent a ceasefire agreement with Ukraine, “the conditions under which France could authorize the delivery of the first helicopter carrier are not in place.

France’s final decision on the Mistral isn’t clear as of Tuesday.

Vladivostok has been allowed to conduct limited sea trials since a mid-September limited Ukraine-Russian separatist ceasefire, according to a Friday report in The Guardian.

In June, 400 Russian sailors traveled to the French port of Saint-Nazaire to train to operate Vladivostok.

Since Hollande’s announcement, those sailors have laid low, according to The Guardian report.

In 2011 the Sarkozy administration signed a deal with Russia for the two ships — versions of the French Navy’s 21,000-ton Mistral big deck amphibs modified to operate in Arctic conditions and able to field heavier Russian helicopters.

In the meantime, Russia has reportedly contracted with the domestic shipbuilders for an additional Ivan Gren-class amphibious warship (Project 11711).

The Ivan Gren-class displaces 6,000-tons and has far less helicopter capability than the Mistrals.

  • Diogenes

    Shocked, shocked, I say.

  • Lex Strahorn

    Just received news that the first ship left harbor with a Russian crew. Looks like they are being delivered after all.

    • Michael Rich

      What’s your source?

  • Aarin Tobias

    Mistral’s have been overpayed (almost 2$ billion)

    nothing special,
    bad deal for the Russians

    it’s worth for them to have money back instead

  • Bill

    These ships – if delivered – will probably one day be used against a NATO or allied country. What the Russians paid for them will not be remembered.

  • NavySubNuke

    It shouldn’t be too hard to slip in a few extra “goodies” to make sure these can’t be used against the good guys. Just a few extra lines of software here and there and a few hidden hardware components that make the engines, radar, and weapons all turn off if the correct command is received….

  • Ruckweiler

    Never let it be said that the French won’t sell themselves down the river. Remember, France’s leading trade partner prior to WWII was Germany.

  • Secundius

    I suspect no French Official, what’s to go through Putin’s Polonium-210 Weight-Loss Program!!!

  • Pacemaker4

    “The stern section of Mistral was made at Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg. That is why if they want to keep the ship, we will have to tear away its stern section and get it back to use it in other ships,” Rogozin said.

    For the same reason, it is impossible to transfer this half-of-the-ship to anybody else,” he added. “Secondly, the money has been paid and it must be returned with penalties. Thirdly, it is not even money that France is risking, but its status of a reliable supplier in the World Trade Organisation,” Rogozin said.

    http://itar-tass .com/en/economy/750766