Russia could sue France for failing to deliver amphibious ship

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Russia’s envoy to NATO, Alexander Grushko said that Moscow will not rule out legal action against France if it fails to honor its contractual obligation to to deliver the two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.

Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The vessels, capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 troops, are expected to join Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

Russian Deputy Navy Commander Vice Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov has been appointed to take command of transferring the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier, the Vladivostok, from France to Russia.

Originally scheduled for November 14, the delivery has been postponed, as the ship has fallen under the sanctions imposed by the west on Russia. In October, French President Francois Hollande threatened to suspend the ship’s delivery. Russia has condemned France’s failure to deliver on its contractual obligations, saying Paris would have to pay a large penalty if the deal was cancelled.