French President Suspends Delivery of First Mistral Warship to Russia
France's President Francois Hollande has announed the delivery of a Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia is now suspended until further notice.
Paris has cited the ongoing unrest in Ukraine's east as a reason.
"The President of the Republic considers that the situation in eastern Ukraine still does not permit the delivery of the first BPC (helicopter carrying and command vessel)," TV station France 24 quotes a statement from the French President's office.
Paris initially postponed the move, with the delivery of the Vladivostok first planned for early in November. However, until Tuesday the deal had not been formally suspended.
In 2011 a deal was sealed envisaging the supply of two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to Russia, with a price tag of EUR 1.2 B.
There have been no comments as to whether the second ship, the Sevastopol, is also to suffer delays.
Sevastopol's delivery is currently scheduled for next year.
France has been increasingly under pressure in the past months, with a number of other EU member states trying to talk President Hollande into putting the deal on hold as a punitive measure against Russia.
The decision also comes against the background of EU sanctions imposed on Moscow this summer.
Earlier in November French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned Russia had not "met" the conditions for the delivery.
Russia, for its part, is determined to observe the terms of its contract, with Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov saying, "we are going to wait patiently."
Borisov also warned France would be facing penalties if it failed to fulfill its obligations.
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Your "!" gives a lasting impression, "DeGaulle", but leaving aside Your "true democratic" delirium, I'd remark that the real Charles de Gaulle would've never allowed France to be a puppet on the Uncle Sam' string. And also: Russian Navy was strongly against purchasing Mistrals, but the former Russian Defence Minister, bastard, pushed through the deal.
France has 50% youth unemployment and it's already in recession.
Who is going to be paying now for that monstrocity? The French taxpayer?
Just sell the darn thing to the Russians as agreed and make some money.
The Russians will start making their own if they can't buy it.
Hell of a way to do business with sanctions.