France 'to deliver' Mistral warship, says Russia

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France 'to deliver' Mistral warship, says Russia

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A senior Russian defence official has announced that France will go ahead with the delivery to Russia of one of two Mistral helicopter carriers.

But France has not confirmed Dmitry Rogozin’s claim that the transfer will be made on November 14 2014.

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves le Drian had earlier implied that a decision had yet to be made.

“If the political conditions do not change I can’t imagine the delivery being authorised. The French president will make his decision at the moment of delivery,” he said.

France was under the leadership of Nicolas Sarkozy when the contract was signed in 2011.

Western partners have since put pressure on current President François Hollande to abandon the deal due to the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine.

However reports suggest France will have to pay a multi-million-euro penalty if it pulls out of the contract.