Mistral : Russians set an ultimatum to France

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The Russians leave to France, two weeks to deliver the helicopter carrier, the Mistral.

Past this deadline, they will be forced to ask for heavy compensations. However, France is under a double pressure: on the one hand, its partners, like the United States, Germany or the United Kingdom, are urging Paris to suspend the Mistral delivery as long as Russia hasn’t ceased their actions in Ukraine. On the other hand, France needs to keep its commitments to Russia.

And the latter, is beginning to seriously grow impatient. A Russian source said, today at the Ria Novosti agence, that France has until end of November to deliver the first war ship, Mistral to Russia.

And the Russians, can afford this firm attitude. They are aware that the contract of 1.2 billion euros is vital for France in the general context of economic crisis and the political slump.

The French Defense Minister said Wednesday that “no date of delivery” of  Mistral to Russia “can be fixed at this stage”. No doubt, the thorny question of the Mistral should be on the program of the meeting between the presidents of France François Hollande and Russia Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Saturday and Sunday.

Rachel CHISS and Alizée LANZARINI, IEJ 1B