Talks have begun between Russia and France over the acquisition of four Mistral Class amphibious assault ships for the Russian Navy, according to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Both the nations are due to sign on a purchase agreement for one Mistral Class warship, according to RIA Novosti.

“The Mistral is a helicopter carrier we will create for Russia without military equipment,” he said.

According to the French president two of the four Mistral Class ships under discussion could be built in Russia.

Russia initially considered buying one of the Mistral Class amphibious assault ships at a cost of €400m-€500m ($540m-$675m) and to build three or four vessels of the same class in collaboration with French naval shipbuilder DCNS.

A Mistral Class amphibious-assault ship can transport and deploy 16 helicopters, four landing barges and up to 70 armoured vehicles including 13 battle tanks and 450 personnel.