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Moscow Uninformed of Paris's Inability to Deliver on Mistral Deal

France has invited Russia to attend the handover ceremony of the first Mistral warship, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.

MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow has not received any information from Paris in regard to why the Mistral-class helicopter carrier contract cannot be fulfilled, an official from the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

“We haven’t received any additional information from Paris,” the official said in regard to an earlier statement by the French Finance Ministry that the Mistral may not be delivered.

Earlier on Thursday, Agence France-Presse quoted French Finance Minister Michel Sapin as saying “the conditions today are not met to deliver the Mistral.”

On Wednesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that state arms exporter Rosoboronexport received an invitation to France on November 14 to attend the handover ceremony of the first Mistral warship, the Vladivostok. The second carrier, the Sevastopol, is scheduled to be delivered to Russia in 2015.

Rogozin stated that at present, the contract between Russia and France is being fulfilled according to plan.

Russia and France signed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.5 billion) deal for the delivery of two Mistral-class carriers in June 2011. However, the deal has been at risk since the West began imposing economic sanctions on Russia because of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. French President Francois Hollande said in September France could suspend the deliveries of the ships to Russia.

Though French authorities have not officially confirmed the upcoming warship delivery, Saint-Nazaire's shipbuilding wharf said that the warships were ready to be handed over.

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