Despite France officially putting the Mistral ship delivery on hold, Russia has no immediate plans to file claims, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said Tuesday, Russian media reported.
The minister commented after French President Francois Hollande announced on Tuesday the suspension of a $1.6 billion deal with Russia.
“The French president believes the current situation in eastern Ukraine does not allow the transfer of the first Mistral to Russia. He believes it is necessary to postpone the issue of allowing the transfer of the first Mistral to Russia until another order is given,” a French government statement read.
“No, we are not planning to file any [claims] at the moment,” Borisov said. “Everything is specified in the contract, and we will act under that contract, just like all civilized people do.”
However Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov while talking to reporters in Sochi Wednesday made it clear that it wouldn’t take long to file litigation if France fails to meet its contracts and France is responsible for the controversy.
"I don't want to comment on that [Hollande’s announcement]. These are France's problems, not ours," Lavrov said.
"We are protected by contract. If France fails to meet its contractual obligations, the litigation process will not take long, I think," he added.
Russia and France signed the $1.5 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, is expected to join the Russian Navy by the end of this year, while the Sevastopol is due to arrive in Russia in 2015.
But the deal has been in jeopardy after the West slapped Russia with economic sanctions over Ukraine.