Russia will ‘not impose penalties or fines’ against France over Mistral, says Putin


Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Russia will not impose penalties or fines against France over its decision to suspend the delivery of the two Mistral-class amphibious aircraft carriers according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Speaking during an annual televised call-in show, Putin said: "We are not planning to demand any penalties or exorbitant fines, but all expenses should be returned.

"Of course not delivering the ships according to a valid contract is a bad sign, but from the point of view of supporting our defence capabilities, to tell you frankly, this has no importance."

Deliveries of the Mistral carriers were suspended after criticism from the UK and US regarding Moscow's reported involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.

"We are not planning to demand any penalties or exorbitant fines, but all expenses should be returned."

The first carrier, Vladivostok, was scheduled to join the Russian Navy by the end of 2014, followed by Sevastopol this year.

The two Mistral-class vessels form part of a $1.52bn deal signed in 2011 and have been built by DCNS at its Saint-Nazaire shipyard.

As part of the deal, Russia planned to procure two additional Mistral-class vessels, which were to be built in Russia and France.

The warships, which are capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 19k, incorporate an MRR-3D NG surveillance radar and a high-performance communications suite for humanitarian operations and several other missions.