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The Siberian Times

Defence sources deny Russian marines took over Mistral-class helicopter carrier in French port

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 December 2014

The French-built 'Vladivostok' is at the centre of a dispute over sanctions.

Today after the initial report in other defence sources denied anything had changed. Picture:

Reports today said that Russian forces from the Far East and the Baltic were on combat duty on the disputed vessel in the French port of Saint-Nazaire. A source at the Russian Navy General Staff said that several dozen naval  servicemen had begun 'combat duty' in order to 'ensure security of the ship and to check its airborne assault system'.

French leader Francois Hollande last month put delivery of the warship to Moscow on hold following US pressure linked to the Ukrainian crisis. However, Russian naval forces have been in Saint-Nazaire for three months preparing for a handover which had been due on 14 November.

'We are fine,' said an unnamed serviceman. 'We lack neither food nor money. However, it looks like we are going to celebrate New Year here, although nobody knows for sure. The French are very polite'.

Mistral-class helicopter carrier captioned this picture as 'the possible image of the Vladivostok crew'

Today after the initial report in other defence sources denied anything had changed. The Russians were stationed on the Smolny warship not the Vladivostok, which remained in French hands, said a high ranking naval official. 

The 'whole report' about marines taking over control of the Vladivostok was an 'extraordinary invention', said the source, according to Sputnik news agency.

Russia and France signed the $1.5 billion deal for the two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The second, the Sevastopol, was originally scheduled to arrive in 2015.

On 25 November, Hollande suspended the transfer of Vladivostok until further notice. He claimed the  'current situation in the east of Ukraine still does not allow to transfer the first 'Mistral' to Russia'.

Comments (2)

Za vše může USA ! Mohl bych se tu rozepsat, ale bylo by to na dlouho, tak sem dám odkaz který vyjádří vše
Politika, Svatá země Evropy
17/12/2014 00:52
These days, you wouldn't know what to believe? You wouldn't!
Jaker, Dundalk
16/12/2014 01:55

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