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India is ready to put pressure on France in the transfer of "Mistral" to Russia
According to media reports, India threatens to cancel the contract with Dassault for the supply of 126 Rafales fighters if Paris refuses to hand over the Mistrals to the Russian Federation. This contract is estimated at $ 22 billion.
On November 25, French President François Hollande officially decided to suspend the transfer of the Vladivostok landing helicopter carrier to Russia. “The President of the Republic believes that the current situation in the east of Ukraine still does not allow the transfer of the first Mistral to Russia. In this regard, he considered it necessary to postpone, until a new order, the study of the request for permission to supply Russia with the first Mistral, - said in a statement from the Elysee Palace. Moscow on the same day announced that it would patiently await the French decision and was not going to file claims for the delay. It should be noted that the official date for the transfer of the Mistral was set for November 14th.
As the experts counted, Francois Hollande risks huge financial losses: first, the return of 1,2 billion to Russia under the contract; secondly, the payment of fines to Russia, which, according to some estimates, can reach 10 billion euros. If we add here another 22 billion US dollars under the Indian contract, we get an amount over 30 billion euros.
Le Nouvel Observateur, in turn, emphasizes that if the contract for the Mistrals with Russia is terminated, France will find it difficult to find an alternative buyer.
For example, a NATO source told the magazine that the possibility of the alliance buying helicopter carriers is "not very realistic."
"And even worse, the Mistral data are specially designed for sailing in cold seas. Therefore, they are not suitable for countries such as India and Brazil, which have recently been buying a lot of weapons," Le Nouvel Observateur writes.
The article also says that the construction of the Mistrals is carried out taking into account a number of special requirements of the Russian side. And in the case of the sale of helicopter carriers to another country, you will have to abandon the modifications made for the Russian Federation and rebuild the ships in accordance with the wishes of the new client. Such an operation will lead to an increase in construction costs.