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Mistral: Deal or no deal between France and Russia?

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Mistral: Deal or no deal between France and Russia?


President Francois Hollande has denied Russian reports that France has agreed to pay compensation for reneging on a deal to deliver two Mistral helicopter carriers.

The French-built warships were due to be sold to Russia under a contract struck four years ago.

But Paris has come under pressure from its Western allies not to complete the order because of Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

“The talks are already over, everything is already decided – both the timeframe and the sums,” Vladimir Kozhin, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin on military matters, told RIA news agency late on Thursday.

“I hope that in the nearest future an agreement will be signed on breaking the contract, and then the sum that France will pay us will be announced,” RIA quoted Kozhin as saying.

On Friday, Russian newspaper Kommersant said that Paris would pay Moscow almost 1.2 billion euros.

But President Hollande says no deal has been reached on the Mistral and a decision will be made in the weeks ahead.

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