The representative of the administration of U.S. President Ben Rhodes at a briefing reported that "the cooperation between France and Russia on the helicopter carrier "Mistral" is really a bad time".
He stressed that the U.S. sanctions against French banks have nothing to do with the American attitude to the plans of delivery "Mistral".
Vladimir Putin (Russian President) has called attempts by the US to force France not to deliver Mistral to Russia – blackmail. "What is now USA do with French banks is nothing but internal disturbances in Europe in General and to us too, not causes".
Previously appeared rumors that the supply of helicopter carrier can be cancelled. In March, Laurent Fabius (French foreign Minister) argued that "revocation of the transaction on the supply of "Mistral" to Russia is included in the list of measures in the framework of the third series of sanctions against Russia." Later he said that France has no plans to terminate these agreements. But with the caveat that the final decision about delivery will be made in October.
In June, françois Hollande (President of France) said that France will deliver to Russia two helicopter carrier "Mistral", if against Russia will not be introduced pan-European economic sanctions.
The contract on construction of two "Mistral" was signed in June 2011. The amount of the contract amounted to 1.2 billion euros. Data on vessels must be fitted with the latest Russian weapon systems shock and defensive purposes, including supersonic cruise missiles.
The first ship "Mistral" France needs to send Russia in October. The second – in 2016.
What is "Mistral"
"Mistral" is a type of universal ships. It is fit to perform 4 tasks – take helicopters to transport manpower, be used for landing and be a floating hospital. The ship can accommodate 16 helicopters (weighing up to 12 tons) and 450 Marines.
The decision of Hollande
On the eve of Francois Hollande announced that one of the ships Russia will get. He stated that "the ship is almost ready and will be delivered in October". Delivery of the second helicopter (which, incidentally, was named "Sevastopol") is open to question. According to the President of France, everything will depend on Russia's position towards Ukraine. "While decisions on the third phase of sanctions against Russia, the contract will be fulfilled". Refuses to supply "Mistral" France has long been called the United States. After the recent events in Ukraine (namely, after shot down the Boeing over the territory of DPR) to the United States have joined Germany and the UK.
However, Hollande reminded the international community that breach of contract for the supply of "Mistral" will lead to penalties. France will have to pay Russia a penalty fee in the amount of 1.1 billion euros.