Support The Moscow Times!

France Indefinitely Suspends Delivery of Mistral Warship to Russia

France's Mistral class assault ship the Dixmund in the French port of Toulon.

France on Tuesday indefinitely suspended delivery of the first of two Mistral helicopter carrier warships to Russia, citing conflict in eastern Ukraine where the West accuses Moscow of fomenting separatism.

Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov told news agency RIA Novosti that Russia would for now not pursue claims against France over non-delivery, but expected the contract to be fulfilled.

"We are satisfied with everything. It's the French who are not satisfied. We will wait patiently," Borisov was quoted as saying. "Everything is laid down in the contract. We will act in accordance with the letter of the contract as all civilized people do."

France has been under pressure for months from its Western allies to scrap the 1.2 billion euro ($1.58 billion) contract, but faces potential compensation claims if it breaches terms. Suspension of contracts is a sensitive issue at a time when France is finalizing other military deals.

"The president of the republic considers that the situation in the east of Ukraine still does not permit the delivery of the first BPC [helicopter carrying and command vessel,]" said a statement from President Francois Hollande's office.

"He has therefore decided that it is appropriate to suspend, until further notice, examination of the request for the necessary authorization to export the first BCP to the Russian Federation."

The United Nations reported that over 4,300 people have been killed in the pro-Russian separatist insurrection in eastern Ukraine that the West says Moscow has promoted. Russia denies any involvement and accuses the Ukrainian military of using indiscriminate violence against civilians.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Once
Monthly
Annual
Continue
paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more