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Russia warns France over Mistral-class warship delivery

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Russia has warned France its failure to act on a bilateral contract to deliver a warship ordered by Moscow poses risk to Paris’ reputation.

France has delayed taking the vessel to Russia, citing the situation in Ukraine. Ukraine’s eastern regions have witnessed deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since Kiev launched military operations there in mid-April.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse Russia of arming the pro-Russia forces, an allegation Moscow denies.

“I am a little fed up with this question. It is not our problem anymore. It is a problem of France’s reputation. They have to fulfill all the obligations under the contract,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

In line with the contract, France has to deliver to Russia two Mistral-class helicopter carriers it has built for Moscow.

The first of the two assault ships, which can carry 16 helicopters, four landing crafts, 13 tanks, 450 soldiers and a hospital, was supposed to be delivered in November, according to the original deal signed in 2011.


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