NOVEMBER 25, 2014 — Russian sailors waiting in St. Nazaire, France, to take delivery of a helicopter carrier look set for an extended stay. According to an announcement today by the office of French President François Hollande, "the President of the Republic considers that the current situation in the east of Ukraine still does not allow delivery of the first PCB [ Bâtiment de projection et de commandment, in other words, Mistral class ship]. It therefore considered it appropriate to suspend , until further notice , the examination of the application for authorization necessary for the export of the first PCB to the Russian Federation."
The first of the two Mistral Class vessels that the STX France shipyard has been building for Russia has been ready for delivery since early this month.
With delivery of the ship on indefinite hold, France will now likely face a lawsuit claiming stiff penalties.
"If they don't give it [to us], we will sue them and demand that penalties are paid," Russian deputy defense minister Yuri Borisov recently told the state-controlled TASS news agency. "Russia will be acting strictly in line with the contract and file a lawsuit if the ship is not delivered."
Under a €1.2 billion contract, the first Mistral was scheduled to be handed over to Russia on November 14.
According to number of Russian media reports, the Russian government has set the end of this month as the deadline for initiating legal action.