#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
#AceFinanceNews – MOSCOW – May 06 – The Russian Defence Ministry is planning to deploy additional forces in Crimea as part of beefing up the Black Sea fleet under a $2.5 billion program. The need for new deployment emerged after the formerly Ukrainian peninsula joined Russia.
“Before year’s end we will form new units of air defence and marine troops at the sites of our fleet’s deployment,” Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said Tuesday. “The fleet will receive new submarines and surface ships of new generation this year. This requires our attention.”
The minister stressed that the Navy beef-up program for the Black Sea fleet was extended due to Crimea, the fleet’s base, becoming part of Russia in March. The ministry plans to spend more than $2.4 billion for the purpose by 2020.
The announcement of deployment plans comes after Russia voiced concerns of the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea. The alliance deployed aircraft and warships as well as ground troops, saying it was needed to instil confidence in its members like Poland, Romania and the Baltic states.
#AceFinanceNews – TURKEY – March 28 – Turkey has sacked Murad Bayar, Defence Ministry under-secretary for the state-run defence industries, Reuters said.
The ministry did not give a reason for the decision, but Bayar had been influential in Turkey’s negotiations with China over the procurement of a missile defence system.
NATO allies voiced concern when Ankara said in September, it had chosen China’s FD-2000 missile defence system over rival offers from the Franco/Italian Eurosam SAMP/T and US-listed Raytheon Company.