Ex-Commander of the Northern Fleet Vyacheslav Popov commented on the information about possible sinking of Mistrals, Rosbalt reports.
“No man of a good judgment will sink such vessels, — he said. — This is a story made up to attract attention”. According to him, the vessels may either be “cut for scrap or sold to a party that needs them”. French Navy does not need such ships at the moment.
On May 6th Le Figaro reported that French authorities are considering different scenarios related to Mistral ships. The vessels will be either disassembled and disposed or sunk out at sea. The most probable scenario is connected with finding a buyer for the ships. Among potential customers are Canada, Egypt and “one of North European countries”.
The contract for delivery of two Mistral helicopter carriers was signed by DCNS (France) and Rosoboronexport in 2011. France should have handed over the first “Vladivostok” Mistral assault ship to Russian Navy on November 14th 2014. However, this never happened. Earlier President of France François Hollande said that Paris is trying to resolve the matter. Delivery of Mistrals depends on settling the Ukrainian crisis. Russia is expecting France to deliver the ships or refund money.