The first Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Vladivostok, will be handed over to the Russian Navy according to schedule - in 2015, the president of Russia's United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Alexei Rakhmanov, has said.
"We have a concrete deadline. Further issues include completing the construction [of the ship] and fitting it with weapons and communication equipment. It will be done at our shipyards, including the Severnaya Verf [Northern Shipyard]. We will launch this work this year. The year of 2015 is the year of transfer. The entire project is hinged on this schedule," he told the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Monday.
As far as the construction of the helicopter carrier's frame is concerned, Russian specialists "completed everything on time this year - the second stern section," he said.
Rakhmanov said he does not think that France may backtrack on its contractual obligations concerning the Mistral project.
"The French know very well how to count their money. They will not let themselves down. There are international obligations. Any sanctions offer another opportunity to circumvent some principles of free trade and obtain some additional advantages," he said.
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