Updated on 03^:40 p.m. Moscow time
MOSCOW, September 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia believes that the contract with France to deliver the Mistral helicopter carriers will be fulfilled according to the original agreement, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Thursday.
“We believe that the contract will be fulfilled in accordance with the volume agreed on that was established at the according time,” Manturov said.
On Wednesday, the office of President Francois Hollande released a statement, saying that the head of the country concluded that the conditions, under which France could authorize the delivery of the first helicopter carrier are not in place.
Later, a French diplomatic source told RIA Novosti that the delivery of the ship was not put off and that the statement of the president did not have any legal consequences as the president had simply said that he would not approve the transfer of the vessel if the situation in Ukraine did not improve.
Commenting on the news, the Russian Federation Council's defense and security committee chairman Viktor Ozerov said on Thursday that the deal for the delivery of Mistral-class helicopter carriers, signed by Russia and the French shipbuilder DCNS, allows for fines of several billion euros in the event of a contract breach.
Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first of these, the Vladivostok, is expected in Russia at the end of the year, with the second, the Sevastopol, due for delivery in 2015.