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Eric Fournier: “We Have Not Decided to Sell “Mistral” to Russia Yet”

17.12.2009
“Active discussion on selling “Mistral” to Russia does not mean that the agreement has already been signed or it will definitely happen,” said extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of France to Georgia Eric Fournier before his meeting with Temur Iakobashvili, State Minister for Reintegration of Georgia.

“Speaking about “Mistral” has become very active recently; however, it does not mean the agreement with Russia has already been signed or it will be settled positively,” said the ambassador of France.

Russian Federation intends to purchase the “Mistral” type four ships from France with the technical support of French side and license.

According to Russian media, if the agreement fails, France will sell one aircraft-carrier ship to Russia which will be equipped with corresponding systems and radars. The approximate price of the ship will be 400-500 million Euro. Besides that, Russia will receive license to build four new ships which will increase the price of agreement at 1-1, 2 million Euro.

Governments of Ukraine, Baltic state and Georgia have expressed their concern about the agreement. Foreign Minister of Georgia Grigol Vashadze stated Georgia is extremely concerned about the fact. Vashadze is sure with the support of the ship Russia intends to use it against Georgia.

As for the Russian Federation, commander of Military Fleet of Russia, Admiral Vladimer Visotski stated that the Kremlin needs the ship to carry out more effective operations in the Black Sea. Visotski has not kept in secret, that it will take Russia only 40 minutes to occupy the coast of Georgia.

“Mistral” is a universal ship with various functions. The distance of its sailing is 20 thousand miles/32 thousand kilometers. It sails at 18 knots per hour. 450-member landing-force can be deployed on the board. It is equipped with landing yacht. 40 tanks or 70 vehicles might be placed on the board.

Source: News Agency “Pirveli”

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