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Friday, August 07, 2015

Abandoned Mistral Deal Still Divides Russian Officials, Analysts

Vladivostok LHDFrance has agreed to reimburse Russia for the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers purchased under a 2011 contract, ending a months-long dispute over the fate of Russia's largest foreign arms purchase in the post-Soviet era.

But the question of whether Russia really needs such expensive ships other than for mere power projection is still dividing Russian officials and military analysts.

Russia paid 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for the ships, but the contract was suspended last year in response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and subsequent support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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