La Tribune: France Lost More than €400 Million Due to Refusal to Supply Russia “Mistrals”

La Tribune: France Lost More than €400 Million Due to Refusal to Supply Russia “Mistrals”

According to the results of the audit, the French Accounts Chamber found that the budget of the country as a result of refusal of delivery helicopter carriers “Mistral” ordered by Russia lost € 409 million, writes La Tribune. According to the newspaper, this amount exceeds the damage estimates previously made by the French Senate by a factor of two.

French citizens have finally – more than seven years later – found out how much Paris has lost by refusing to deliver the Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, La Tribune reports. According to the newspaper, a report on arms exports published by the country’s Court of Accounts found that the decision cost the French treasury €409 million.

“In total, taking into account the outcome of negotiations with Russia, the renunciations, the losses incurred by the Naval Group as well as the refitting of the ships and their transfer to Egypt, this operation has cost France €409 million,” La Tribune quotes the document.

As the columnist specifies, for refusal of delivery of “Mistral” France had to pay Russia € 949.7 million, including € 56.7 million – for the training of Russian crews. However, Paris was able to offset this loss by urgently “derussing” the ships and reselling them to Egypt in August 2015 for €950m, while in September that year the French Senate Finance Commission estimated the net loss from the resale to the French budget at €200-250m – but, as it turns out now, in fact the loss was double.

The French government, as part of its export support measures, usually assumes the risks of non-payment of loans and termination of contracts – just as it did in the case of the Mistral, the journalist says La Tribune. As the author stresses, the decision to refuse to deliver the ships to Russia was made in August 2015 in connection with Crimea becoming part of that country; Paris was reluctant to break the contract for a long time, but eventually yielded to pressure from its closest allies, as well as from Poland.

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