A lawsuit demanding that France implement the contract on the delivery of Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia may be filed within the next six months, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told reporters on Thursday.
"All steps are being taken in accordance with the contract. Naturally, if the contract is not implemented, a lawsuit will be filed. The dates there are split into three parts. The first one is in January, and it has already been done. It was an explanation why [the contract has not been fulfilled]. The other dates are three and six months," he said.
The Russian state-controlled arms trader Rosoboronexport and the French company DCNS signed a contract on the construction of the first two Mistral-class helicopter carriers for the Russian Navy in June 2011. The ships' sterns were manufactured at the Baltiysky Plant of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. Their connection to the bows and completion took place at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire.
France was expected to provide the first helicopter carrier, the Vladivostok, to Russia back in November 2014. However, it has not been provided to Russia so far and it is not clear when it will happen.
French President Francois Hollande said he had made a decision to suspend the delivery of the Vladivostok to Russia due to the situation in Ukraine. Russia, for its part, said it expects to receive either the ships or its money back.
The sanctions imposed on Russia stipulate that military-technological contracts concluded earlier have to be fulfilled. A number of NATO countries, primarily the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Poland, have repeatedly tried to persuade France not to deliver the ships to Russia.
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