Hollande does not rule out possibility of striking new ship construction deals with Russia

"All the problems on Mistral warships have been successfully resolved, and I think the partnership with Russia on new ships will be continued in the future," the French president says.

French President Francois Hollande has said it is possible to continue cooperation with Russia in shipbuilding. He was speaking in the city of Saint-Nazaire addressing employees of the SXT shipyard and representatives of the local authorities.

"I want to report to you — all the problems on Mistral warships have been successfully resolved in the course of negotiations with Russia. And I think the partnership with Russia on new ships will be continued in the future," Hollande said.

"France wanted to sell the Mistral ships to a country, which would use them to the best advantage," he noted. "We did not want to sell them to a country that is at war. France wanted them to be owned by a country, which would intend to use them only to ensure its own security. That was the reason why the well-known decision on Mistrals with regard to Russia was taken. And the Russian side agreed with the need to terminate the contract. Everything went off well with Russia," Hollande said.

He called "absurd" the idea disseminated by the media earlier that the Mistral warships that had not been delivered to Russia "would be submerged in the open sea." "These are high-tech ships, and such actions would be unacceptable," the French president said.

He voiced satisfaction over the fact that the Mistral warships had been sold to Egypt at the originally established price. "The STX shipyard will not lose a centime because of this transaction," Hollande said.

First published by TASS.

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