Russia doubts about France’s reliability as a partner after the decision on Mistral navy assault ships delivery, says Maria Zakharova, Deputy Director of the Information and Press Department of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Despite several public pronouncements about the primate of financial and economic contract relationship over political divisions, the Elysee palace announced today that the “Mistral” contract will not be fulfilled. France sacrificed its reputation of a reliable partner to American political ambitions. Where are those times when Paris did not bow the neck to the US, for instance, on Iraq issue?” – she wrote on her Facebook page.
“Today France failed. Luckily, de Gaulle cannot witness the shame. Though it’s one’s beliefs issue”, said Zakharova.
On Wednesday, the President Fran?ois Hollande’s Office distributed French Security Council’s communique. It states that the Head of the state considers the conditions insufficient to perform the delivery of the first Mistral in the view of the developing situation in Ukraine. Later, the Elysee palace representative explained that the delivery is not halted and that Holland’s statement does not have any legal consequences. The President just expressed his opinion that he does not approve the warship delivery until the situation in Ukraine amends.
The delivery contract for two Mistral navy assault ships was signed between the French company DCNS and “Rosoboroneksport” in 2011. The cost of the contract is 1,2 bln Euro. The first ship Vladivostok was planned to begin service in 2014; the second one – Sevastopol – in 2015. The US spoke against the warship delivery. In turn, the DCNS ensured that the US sanctions cannot influence the Mistral construction and delivery.
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