France offered Rusia €785 million to settle Mistral contract

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France has submitted to Russia proposals regarding termination of the contract for the delivery of two Mistral helicopter carriers. The proposal assumes paying Russia €785 million after its government signs a permission for selling the ships to any third-party without any restrictions, Kommersant reports.

Moscow disagreed with this approach and assessed expenses and losses caused by termination of the contract at €1.163 billion. Moreover, Russia is not going to sign any permission for selling the vessels until the sum is returned.

Sources familiar with the situation said that Paris prepared documents for termination of intergovernmental agreement for construction of Mistral helicopter carriers and delivery of 2 vessels of the type to Russia and submitted them to Moscow. We remind you that the first document was signed on January 25th 2011 by Vice premier Igor Sechin and French Minister of Defense Alain Juppe, while the agreement for construction of two Mistrals was signed on June 17th 2011 by Rosoboronexport and DCNS.

“The government, the Russian Defense Ministry and every department and organization involved in the Mistral project are studying the draft documents,” a source told Kommersant.

Over the last year the fate of two Mistral helicopter carriers “Vladivostok” and “Sevastopol” was one of the major problems in relations between Russia and France. The first vessel should have been delivered to Russian party in November 2014. However, French authorities have postponed the delivery several times in light of situation in Ukraine, but they have never talked about termination of contract before.

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