Author Topic: Egypt to buy Mistral warships originally built for Russia from France  (Read 471 times)

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Offline Rudi Jan

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Egypt to buy Mistral warships originally built for Russia from France

Published time: 23 Sep, 2015 11:17
Edited time: 23 Sep, 2015 12:59

The two Mistral-class helicopter carriers Sevastopol (Bottom) and Vladivostok are seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard
site in Saint-Nazaire, western France © Stephane Mahe / Reuters

France has agreed to sell two Mistral helicopter carriers to Egypt, which were originally ordered by Russia.

"They agreed on the principle and the terms of the acquisition by Egypt of the two [ships]," the French President Francois Hollande’s spokesman told reporters in a statement on Wednesday.

The deal was agreed at a high-profile meeting between French and Egyptian delegations in Paris. The final decision was announced by the president’s office on Wednesday, though the cost of the deal has not been released.

It had earlier been reported that several countries had been interested in purchasing the amphibious carriers, which were originally built for the Russians. The interested parties included Canada, India, Singapore and Egypt, who Paris eventually agreed to sell the ships to. However, negotiations between the two sides almost broke down last week, as Paris and Cairo could not agree on a price for the two vessels, reported La Tribune newspaper.

The Mistrals contract, worth €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion), was signed by France’s DCNS/STX and Russia’s Rosoboronexport in 2011. The contract specified that two French helicopter carriers would be delivered to Russia, the first in 2014 and the second in 2015. Russia was to partly manufacture the vessel hulls and provide its own military electronic equipment for the warships.

However, the French government decided not to hand the vessels over to Moscow after it came under intense political pressure from the US and its European allies following Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the outbreak of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine.

France also agreed to refund €950 million ($1 billion) to Moscow after Paris cancelled the deal. Had the agreement gone ahead, it would have been one of the greatest arms sales ever to have taken place between Russia and a NATO member.

R ~ The cost to Egypt is not divulged. Not that it matters, it's really just a matter of the banks transfering the debt from France over to Egypt. The beauty of central banking.
Suspend all belief. Get the facts ~ Rudi
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