France cannot supply the Mistral helicopters carriers to Russia under the current circumstances, French President Francois Hollande said in Paris on Wednesday.
Speaking to a press conference after talks with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko he said that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin are going to discuss, among other things, various possible solutions to the problem around the Mistrals at their meeting in Yerevan on April 24.
"But I want to say that the Mistrals cannot be supplied under the conditions that exist at present," Hollande stressed.
The Kremlin earler has confirmed that presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Francois Hollande of France will meet on April 24 in Yerevan, where memorial events devoted to the 100th anniversary of the genocide of Armenians will be held.Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said the main topic of the meeting will be the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine and the meeting will also address the issue of supply to Russia of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers.
Ushakov said he is hoping that Hollande will inform Putin about the results of his meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, which is scheduled for April 22.
"The presidents will also talk about the Mistral-class helicopter carriers, of course," he said. "I am operating under the assumption that the issue of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers may be addressed in Yerevan, although the two presidents have many other issues to discuss, primarily Ukraine," Ushakov said.
Ushakov said "intensive consultations are being conducted on the issue of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers between the governments of both countries." Ushakov reiterated that the upcoming contact in Yerevan is "very important, bearing in mind the need to stimulate the implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 19 from all sides."
"We expect the Russian and French leaders to have a substantive exchange of opinions on this matter," Ushakov said.
Ushakov said "the top-level dialogue is going very intensively" between Moscow and Paris. The presidential aide said the presidents have met twice in year 2015 (on February 6 in Moscow and on February 11-12 in Minsk). "The leaders of Russia and France had over twenty phone contacts in 2014-2015," he said. He also said the meeting will address "international agenda issues, including the situation in the Middle East and issues relating to bilateral contacts."
Russian presidential press officer Dmitry Peskov earlier said such a meeting is being prepared and said the French side may raise the question of the implementation of the contract for the supply of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia.
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