Russia may never get Mistral warships – France’s Defence Minister

Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has suggested that two warships ordered by Russia may never be delivered ‘if the situation in Ukraine doesn’t change’, Associated Press reports.

“The Russians must realise this,” the Defence Minister stressed. “The delivery can’t be considered under such stressful conditions we are at the moment.”

Russia is ready to file a lawsuit against France for indefinitely suspending the delivery of two Mistral helicopter carrier warships to Russia, The Moscow Times reports.

“We have already prepared all the documents” to file in court, Vladimir Kozhin, a Kremlin aide in charge of military technical cooperation, told the TASS news agency on Thursday. He declined to specify when the suit might be filed, saying only: “It will be done when it’s done,” according to the report.

The first of the two Mistral warships — built for Russia by France under a $1.7 billion contract signed in 2011 — was scheduled to be delivered in the last quarter of this year. The contract also envisaged a second Mistral ship to be delivered in 2015.

But in late November, France suspended delivery of the first Mistral carrier to Russia, citing Moscow’s interference in Ukraine.

See also