Russia may claim damages if France doesn't deliver Mistral warship

Russia may claim damages if France doesn't deliver Mistral warship

MOSCOW - Russia may demand monetary compensation unless France delivers the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers by the end of November, state news agency RIA quoted an unnamed source as saying on Friday.

RIA said a Russian delegation that had planned to travel to France on Friday to take part in a ceremony to transfer the first ship in the 1.2 billion euro ($1.5 billion) deal had stayed home and no new date for a handover had been set.

France's finance minister said in late October conditions for the sale were not in place after Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, in his Twitter microblog, said Russian officials had been invited to France for the ceremony.

"We are preparing for various scenarios. We will wait until the end of the month (for the fulfillment of the Mistral contract) then we will announce some serious claims," said the unnamed source.

Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport, which Rogozin said had been invited to France, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The source said analysts were looking at various amounts of monetary compensation. "The sum will not be secret," the source was quoted as saying.

Europe and the United States have imposed numerous rounds of sanctions on Russia for its role in eastern Ukraine, and France has faced pressure from other EU members and the United States to freeze the sale.

French President Francois Hollande said in early September that the Mistral contract had not been broken or suspended.

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