Our Bureau
02:15 PM, July 24, 2015

French naval shipbuilder DCNS is spending a minimum of $1.1 million a month to maintain two Mistral helicopter carriers as the deal to deliver them to Russia was cancelled.

It is uncertain what should be done with the ships since French President Francois Holland was forced from Western allies not to deliver the ships because of Russia's role in the Ukraine crisis.

The costs of keeping the warships in good condition while their future is discussed at a diplomatic level are being absorbed by DCNS, 35-percent owned by defence group Thales and 64 per cent by the French state.

But the shipbuilder may try to recover the costs from French export insurance agency Coface once the governments reach a decision, DCNS Chief Executive Herve Guillou was quoted as saying during a press conference in Paris on Thursday.

"It is upwards of one million euros a month," Guillou added.

The costs could rise as long as the warships are left idle, forcing DCNS to replace few of their onboard systems to keep them up to date, he said. Moreover, Russia is seeking about US$1.2 billion in compensation for a cancellation of the deal.

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