India, Brazil or Vietnam may buy Mistral helicopter carriers built for Russia – experts

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India, Brazil and Vietnam are the potential buyers of Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, which France has refused to deliver to Russia, Head of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Pukhov told TASS on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his French counterpart Francois Hollande on Wednesday achieved agreement on terminating the contract for the delivery of two helicopter carriers of the Mistral class, concluded in the summer of 2011.

As the Kremlin said, the two leaders agreed that Russia would get a compensation for the money paid under the contract, and France would return Russian equipment and materials. After that France will be free to use the ships at its sole discretion.

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said some countries have already displayed their interest in Mistrals.

“Ships are normally built to order. That is why, this will be a unique case and we’ll all see how this soap opera will end,” the expert said.

“It is logical to presume that the French will offer these ships to the countries, which planned to have this type of vessels under their naval program, or sell these ships at a reduced price to the countries traditionally buying used French hardware,” Pukhov said.

India may be among the potential buyers, Pukhov said.

“The first country is India, which has expressed its desire to buy one ship and build three more ships of this type at its shipyards, and, as far as I know, the French would want us to assist them in this,” the expert said.

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