Interfax: No comment from Kremlin spokesman on suspension of Mistral warship delivery by France

Mistral Class Ship

SOCHI. Nov 26 (Interfax) – Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refused to comment on French President Francois Hollande’s statement on Tuesday regarding the postponement of the delivery of the Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia because of the situation in Ukraine, saying that the matter had not been discussed at a conference hosted by President Vladimir Putin and dealing with the defense industry.

“I’m not commenting on this,” Peskov told Interfax on Wednesday.

Asked whether the Mistral issue had been brought up at Putin’s meeting with the Defense Ministry top brass and defense industry representatives earlier this week, Peskov answered negatively. “The conference dealt with other issues. The president said in his statement what these issues were,” he said.

French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday that he still did not see fit to deliver the Mistral to Russia. “The President of the Republic believes that the current situation in the east of Ukraine still does not allow for the delivery of the first PCB [the projection and command ship, the official designation of the Mistral-class warships],” the presidential press service said in a statement.

President Hollande therefore considers it “appropriate to suspend, until further notice, the examination of the application for the authorization necessary to export the first PCB to the Russian Federation,” it said.

Le Parisien reported on Wednesday that, if Paris definitively refuses to deliver two Mistral ships, it would have to pay about 3 billion euro in compensation and penalties to Russia.