Sunday, August 09, 2015

Mistral Warship Sale Sunk, France to Refund Russia

France says it has reached an agreement with Russia to cancel the contract for the sale of two French warships
reports the Associated Press.
France will fully refund Russia for the amount the country has already paid, the French president's office said Wednesday in a statement, without giving the figure.

The delivery of a Mistral-class warship to Russia was suspended last year over the Ukrainian crisis. A second French-built warship which was part of the deal was due to be delivered to Russia later this year.

The 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) deal was supposed to be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to Russia.

The Mistral-class vessels can carry 700 troops, 16 helicopter gunships and up to 50 armored vehicles.
It is an issue that No Pasarán has been diligently covering since 2010.

Related: France Seeking New Buyers for Mistral Warships
"These are good ships," [the French defense minister] told RTL radio, "ships that can serve multiple purposes," from force projection and command to acting as floating hospitals.

Jean-Yves Drian … said a number of unspecified countries have "made their interest known" in the boats, which are similar to the U.S. Navy's San Antonio class of amphibious transport dock ships.

 … Whoever finally ends up with Mistrals will need to repaint them to cover up the Russian navy names and markings they now bear.