Moscow has welcomed French President François Hollande’s statement that his government will reimburse Russia if negotiations fail between the two nations over delivery of two Mistral Warships; Ria Novosti reported today quoting a diplomatic source as saying.
"If the boats are not delivered, then I don't see how they could be paid for," Hollande told journalists after meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday. "Among the various scenarios, there will either be reimbursement or payment."
"This is a very valuable statement for us," the source said in regards to Hollande's recent suggestion to return money Russia had paid for the delivery of Mistral ships.
Russia and France signed the €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) deal for the two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. While the first carrier, the Vladivostok, was expected in Russia until the end of November, but never arrived, the second ship, the Sevastopol, was supposed to arrive in 2015.
France put the delivery on hold, citing the situation in eastern Ukraine as the reason behind the decision.
Relations between Russia and the European Union member countries have deteriorated amid the Ukrainian crisis, as European leaders kept blaming Moscow for its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian internal conflict – a claim that Kremlin has repeatedly denied.