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Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Are the Mistrals Back on Course For Russia?

Vladivostok LHDFor almost four months now, France has denied Russia military hardware that the latter has already paid for.

Of the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers that Russia ordered from France in 2011, and for which it paid a majority of the total $1.6 billion cost upfront, the Vladivostok was supposed to be handed over in November 2014.

Yet the outbreak of violence in eastern Ukraine and subsequent standoff between Russia and the West led to the indefinite suspension of the deal. Now, the two warships sit at the port of Saint Nazaire in western France still lacking a clear delivery date — the Sevastopol remains under construction and was originally scheduled for delivery in Fall 2015, but its delivery is included in the suspension.

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