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No Fuel Suitable for Mistral Available in Russia

Russia doesn't produce the type of fuel required for the French-made Mistral helicopter carrier ships, said Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the military-industrial sector.

Rogozin said Russian chemists need to develop "special devices to overcome the problem," Interfax reported Tuesday.  

The deputy prime minister, who made his comments while visiting a military scientific institute, has long opposed the purchase of Mistral ships for the Navy.

A source in the military-industrial complex said the Mistral would need up to 50 different types of fuel and fuel-related materials to function properly. He added that the contract with France doesn't include the supply of those materials.

The contract to buy Mistral ships from France was signed during the tenure of former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov.

The deal, worth $1.9 billion, entailed the construction of two Mistral carriers with an option for two more. The first one is under construction in Russia and France, while the fate of the second unit is unclear.

It was the biggest purchase of foreign-made military equipment by the government in the post-Soviet era as well as the first contract on such a scale with a NATO country.

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