Russia starts building warship similar to Mistral

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Russia has begun work on a helicopter carrier similar to a previously ordered, French-built warship whose delivery has been stalled due to Paris’s concerns over Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis, news agency TASS reported, citing a senior navy official.

The assault vessel is being built in St. Petersburg’s Yantar shipyards and will “join the navy in 2018 after the completion of construction and all phases of testing,” the head of the navy’s shipbuilding department, Vladimir Tryapichnikov, said late last week.

The ship, the second of Russia’s new Ivan Gren-class (Project 11711) landing vessels, was ordered a month after Paris froze a 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) deal for two Mistral-class assault ships in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.

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