French official: Fulfillment of Minsk agreements helps resolve Mistral issue

The agreement on the Mistral-class helicopter carriers was a political one and was expected to demonstrate the closeness of Russia and France, Aymeri de Montesquiou, deputy head of the French Senate commission on foreign affairs, defense and weapons, said.

The agreement on the Mistral-class helicopter carriers was a political one and was expected to demonstrate the closeness of Russia and France, Aymeri de Montesquiou, deputy head of the French Senate commission on foreign affairs, defense and weapons, said.

"The contract on the Mistral-class helicopter carriers was primarily political, not military. And Russia is now asking itself whether it really needs these Mistral-class helicopter carriers that much," Aymeri de Montesquiou told reporters after meeting with Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Federation Council's committee on international affairs, in the Federation Council on Thursday.

De Montesquiou said the ships were designed and made to meet Russian standards.

"It's not a conflict situation between Russia and France. France and Russia will do everything to read an agreement on this issue," de Montesquiou said.

De Montesquiou believes the conflict in Ukraine at a certain stage generated the problem of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers. "However, the situation has changed now that the Minsk agreements have been signed. And we see that certain progress has been made. And the issue of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers has to be resolved," he said.

The French senator said financial issues associated with the non-fulfillment of the contract come secondary to the full-fledged implementation of the Minsk agreements.

"France is interested in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. I am convinced that Russia is also interested in that because it's in your country's interests," de Montesquiou said.

Kosachev, for his part, pointed out the need to "cultivate the ability to overcome the differences that arise." These differences are largely due to the fact that politicians get information, including on Ukraine, from the mass media and they get a superficial vision of the essence of the problems. And the crisis in Ukraine is a fine example of that, Kosachev said.

The Russian senator said this interferes with the settlement of the situation in Ukraine and progress.

Kosachev also said a group of Russian parliamentarians will pay an official visit to France in early June as part of the meeting of the Federation Council - French senate friendship group. "Parliamentary diplomacy is an effective instrument. At the same time, the sanctions imposed on some Russian parliamentarians are undemocratic and illogical," Kosachev said.

Speaking about the issue of the Mistral-class helicopter carriers, the senator said that now it is "more of a headache for France than to Russia."

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