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Mistral Sale in Doubt

A Russian admiral said Sunday that the country would not buy a French helicopter carrier without technology transfers, putting in doubt a contract French President Nicolas Sarkozy said was “certain.”

Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio that there was no point buying the ship unless it came with the “transfer of key, fundamental technologies.”

Sarkozy on Friday promised workers at the STX Europe shipyard in Saint-Nazaire that they would build two Mistral command ships for Russia. The shipyard faces job cuts without the contract.

Sarkozy has previously said the ships would be sold to Russia without electronics or weaponry. Six U.S. senators wrote to France’s ambassador to the United States last year to protest the proposed sale. 


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