Once again it appears France is speaking from both sides of its mouth. As Hollande openly stands behind moar sanctions against Russia and 'talks' about withholding delivery of the first Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia, ITAR-TASS reports the construction of the second ship - ironically named Sevastopol, after the capital of Crimea - has been carried out according to schedule. Furthermore, judging by the rhetoric of foreign affairs minister d'Artagnan that "France’s obligations to Russia under the contract on the helicopter carrier must be fulfilled," it appears Putin will get his way soon.
Russian troops are boarding the disputed first Mistral-class ship...
And the second Mistral-class ship is ready and remains in dry-dock in Saint-Nazaire...
The construction of the Sevastopol Mistral ship is carried out according to schedule, a source in the United Shipbuilding Corporation told TASS. The source confirmed that the dry dock in Saint-Nazaire where the ship is docked was filled up with water on the 20th of November.
According to the agency’s source, the second helicopter carrier construction is being carried out in accordance with the terms of the deal and the ship has been launched.
Currently, Russia is waiting for France to decide on the delivery of the first helicopter carrier, the Vladivostok. Its delivery was due earlier this month, however, Paris has not yet decided on the date, because of the crisis in Ukraine.
French Vice-President of the commission on foreign affairs, defense and armament Aymeri de Montesquiou d’Artagnan said in the interview with TASS, he believes that Paris will meet its commitments.
“Historically, Russia plays an important role in the world; it helped France in the First World War, the French politician noted. This summer I travelled to Moscow to attend the opening of the monument to the Russian soldier, who played a prominent role and changed the entire course of the great war”.
D'Artagnan pointed to the importance of the dialogue between Paris and Moscow. “We need to hear each other, to strengthen confidence, he said. - I agree with those who believe that France’s obligations to Russia under the contract on the helicopter carrier must be fulfilled”.
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