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Russia: French Mistral deal dead in water

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Russia: French Mistral deal dead in water
Photo: Frank Perry /AFP
10:14 CEST+02:00
Russia has decided that it is no longer interested in two helicopter carrier that it had previously ordered from France, deciding to build its own instead.
The €1.2 billion deal over two Mistral helicopter carriers has long plagued French-Russia ties - with a constant back and forth over their fate making headlines for over a year.
 
On Tuesday, Russia finally decided that enough was enough and said that it would simply make its own. 
 
The matter was complicated due to Russia's involvement in the Ukraine crisis, which meant that France held back from delivering the ships even though Russia had paid for them. 
 
"Russia won't take them, it's an accomplished fact," Oleg Bochkaryov, deputy head of Russia's Military Industrial Commission, was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. 
 
"Now there's only one discussion — concerning the money sum that should be returned to Russia."
 
Russian President Vladimir Putin had recently downplayed the importance of the ships, claiming that Russia ordered them mostly to help the French shipyard. He said earlier this month that Moscow wouldn't be demanding any penalties or exorbitant fines were it to cancel the deal. 
 
It remains unknown what France will now do with its two ships. 
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