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Russia Could Sue France Within Six Months Over Mistral Deal


The Russian defense minister said legal action could against France over the stalled delivery of two Mistral-class amphibious warships within six months, according to a report in the Russian TASS wire service on Thursday.

“There is a contract, so everything must be strictly complied with,” minister Sergei Shoigu said.
“If the contract is abused, naturally a lawsuit follows.”

The comments from Shoigu follow an earlier January demand from Russia to France for an official explanation of stall in the $1.56 billion deal.

The contract France signed with Russia includes up to $311 million penalties if the ships aren’t delivered, according to the BBC. Russian press claim the penalty could be much higher.

Since September, French president François Hollande has blocked the anticipated October delivery of the first Russian Mistral — Vladivostok — over the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

“The delivery of the helicopter carriers to Russia is connected with implementation of the Minsk accords,” Hollande said according to French newspaper Le Figaro in November.

The Minsk accords outline conditions of the ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists.

The Hollande government renewed the suspension in November citing the ongoing strike in eastern Ukraine.

“The President of the Republic believes that the current situation in the east of Ukraine still does not allow the transfer of the first Russian Mistral-type ships to Russia,” read a translation of the November statement from Élysée Palace.

“He has decided that it is appropriate to suspend, until further notice, the examination of the request for export authorization for the first [Mistral] to the Russian Federation.”

In mid-December, more than 400 Russian Navy sailors trained to

operate the first Russian left the port of Saint-Nazaire in the training ship Smolny.

The two 21,000-ton ships are modified from the original French design to carry heavier Russian helicopters and are optimized for Arctic operations.

  • NavySubNuke

    Tell them they can have the ships when Ukraine gets Crimea back.

  • James

    @NaveSubNuke Crimea voted to leave the Ukraine, depart themselves from the failed state. Ukraine can only blame themselves, after they went on the attack by violent overthrow of the elected government and new laws pushing aside the use of the Russian language in eastern Ukraine. They were just so stupid to think they would just stay and take what ever abuse was sent to them by the oligarchs controlled government, enforced by they friendly neo-nazis. The very reason the Ukraine is a financial basket case is not due to Russia, it was just like Russia, it let the Oligarchs rob the best revenue generating industries away from the country. No talk of this of course by the USA after all Biden’s son is now conveniently found himself on the board of an Oligarch controlled gas company. Only mistake made by Crimea is that they should not have joined Russia, remained neutral, but after seeing what the Ukrainian military is capable of they, were probably too worried about being invaded.

    • NavySubNuke

      **pats James on the head** sure they did – I’m sure the outcome of the vote had nothing to do with the thousands of armed volunteers who had mysteriously appeared in their country overnight.

      • Rick Elkin

        Well said NSN…The first election had little resemblance to an actual election…If there ha not been armed enforcers at the polling places the first time around, I might have agreed with James…But the fact is the election was rigged. Now, Putin is in a tough position because his ONE piece of serious leverage is gone since the price of oil has plummeted…This is the perfect time to confront that arrogant SOB!

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  • Rick Elkin

    Add my voice to those who have posted here that the sale of the two LHD/LHA types from France to Russia are contingent with the Russians pulling their support of the rebels in Ukraine and the removal of all Russian forces from Crimea. Ukraine is a sovereign nation and if those ethic Russians living there don’t like it, let them move a hundred miles or so to Russian territory.


    The French decision is a political decision based upon the misbehavior of the Russians. Good luck in getting a court to side with the Russians.

  • omegatalon

    France should give the money back to Russia and then offer to sell the ships to Taiwan or Singapore.

  • Ruckweiler

    Wasn’t it a Russian who said treaties are like pie crusts, made to be broken? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

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