Updated on 08:53 p.m. Moscow Time
PARIS, September 3 (RIA Novosti) – The French government thinks that the delivery of the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier, built for Russia under the 2011 contract, would not be appropriate under present circumstances, the presidential administration said in a statement Wednesday.
“The [French] security council has studied the situation in Ukraine. It is difficult. Russia’s recent actions in eastern Ukraine violate the principles of European security. The president of the republic stated that despite prospects for ceasefire, which is yet to be achieved and put into practice, present circumstances do not allow the delivery of the first helicopter carrier by France,” the statement reads.
Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first of these, the Vladivostok, was expected in Russia at the end of this year, with the second, the Sevastopol, due to be completed in 2015.
The completion of the deal was at risk after Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine.
The Mistral vessels are expected to be deployed by Russia’s Pacific Fleet. They are both capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 soldiers.