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French Invitation for Russia to Attend Mistral Warship Handover on December 14 Still Legitimate

A French invitation for a Russian official delegation to attend the delivery ceremony of the Vladivistok helicopter carrier in France on 14 November hasn’t been voided, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said Sunday, implying that the handover could still take place soon.

A French invitation for a Russian official delegation to attend the delivery ceremony of the Vladivistok helicopter carrier in France on 14 November has not been voided, Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov said Sunday. © REUTERS/ Stephane Mahe

Answering a journalist’s question on the specific situation across the Mistral-class warship, the minister stated that  “the invitation has not been withdrawn, and the man [responsible for the delivery] has been dismissed. What to make of it? It is up to you.”
It  was reported earlier that French arms industry company DCNS dismissed Yves Destefanis, a task director accountable for the handover of the Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia.

He was sacked after French Finance Minister Michel Sapin claimed that conditions for the handover of the 1st of two Mistral carriers to Russia hadn’t been met. Herve Guillou, the CEO of DCNS, made the state statement concerning the dismissal on October 31, saying Destefanis had allegedly “caused damaging consequences” to the organization, based on the French newspaper Les Echos.

Russian Deputy Minister Dmitry Rogozin said earlier that Russian arms exporter Rosoboronexport have been invited to France to attend the state handover ceremony of the 1st Mistral carrier in mid-November.
Russia and France signed the €1.2 billion ($1.5 billion) deal for both Mistral-class ships in June 2011. Ever since then, the offer has been over jeopardy after the West started implementing economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis.

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