Russian sailors allowed to board Mistral - source

Russian crewmembers of the Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok have again boarded the ship awaiting its transfer to the Russian Navy, a military diplomat told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.

Russian crewmembers of the Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok have again boarded the ship awaiting its transfer to the Russian Navy, a military diplomat told Interfax-AVN on Tuesday.

"Several dozen sailors who spent the night on the Smolny training ship boarded the Vladivostok this morning," he said.

The event was witnessed by a number of French journalists drawn where the ship is anchored by reports claiming that the Russian crew had not been permitted to board the ship on November 17.

A report posted on the Saint Nazaire port website a week ago said that the Vladivostok was supposed to leave "in an unknown direction" on November 21, the source said, quoting the local media. However, the report was removed from the website on November 13.

Four hundred Russian sailors, prospective crews of the Vladivostok and Sevastopol helicopter carriers, arrived in Saint Nazaire on June 30 about the Smolny ship to be trained to control the Mistral-class vessels.

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