#AceFinanceNews – PARIS – May 30 – France will go ahead with the sale of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia‘s navy despite US pressure to halt the deal, the French Defence Ministry told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
Contract liabilities will be honoured and finalised in October-November, the ministry’s press service said, confirming comment by President Francois Hollande visiting Berlin earlier this month.
Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has also announced that the deal with go through, noting on a visit to Washington that Russia “had already paid more than half” of the contract cost and that “according to law, there is no possibility to say ‘no’ to the deal.”
He added, however, that France would take “a final decision” on this issue in October. “Let’s wait and see what the situation and legal regime will be like,” Fabius noted, referring to European Union sanctions on Russia over events in Ukraine.
The US has interfered with the France-Russia deal on the Mistral helicopter carrier: a group of democratic members of the Congress has sent a letter to NATO’s secretary general urging to persuade Paris to refuse from the deal with Moscow and to sell the warships to NATO. The initiative was supposed to become a “strong signal” to Russia concerning Ukraine.
The US has made several attempts to scuttle the contract, where the French authorities confirm the obligations are observed properly. France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said during his visit to Washington in May, Russia had paid over half the contract price and thus no legal grounds existed for saying “no.”
RT – TASS – Military News