Moscow demands the delivery of helicopter carriers from French navy

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Russia said it is hopeful that France will fulfill its contract to deliver Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia. Moscow had previously threatened to take France to court following its decision to put the ship delivery on hold.

Moscow demands the delivery of helicopter carriers from French navy

Russia said it is hopeful that France will fulfill its contract to deliver Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia. Moscow had previously threatened to take France to court following its decision to put the ship delivery on hold. CCTV America's Anya Ardayeva reported the story from Moscow.

A Russian general once said it would take Russia 10 years to develop technologies required to build a vessel like the Mistral helicopter carrier, which is one of the largest and most modern ships in the French navy.

Instead, Moscow was prepared to pay France $1.6 billion for two Mistral-class ships and expected the delivery in November. The first ship was to be deployed to the Russian Pacific Fleet near the Kuril islands.

However, a suspension of the deal came amid Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its involvement in the conflict in Ukraine, which was denied by Moscow. Russia said the decision to suspend the deal is political.

“The Russian government took the decision to make this deal, that was also a political moment, it was the first sale of military equipment from NATO to Russia,” said Alexei Pushkov, Head of the Foreign Affairs Committee. “But back then, it was a different situation, when there was cooperation between us and NATO. We had looked at some projects for political closeness between Russia and France and Russia and Europe itself.”

The European Union leaders are concerned that the ship, which can carry up to 16 helicopters, could be used to threaten its neighbors. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that France may face consequences if it violates the contract.

Last month, French President Francois Hollande warned that upholding the Sept. 5 ceasefire was an essential condition for the handover of the ships. According to the United Nations, more than 900 people have been killed in Ukraine since that ceasefire.

CCTV America’s Anya Ardayeva reported the story from Moscow.