Wednesday, December 29, 2010

[wvns] Russia buys warships from French

Russia has agreed to buy at least two French warships in a deal that would boost Moscow's deployment abilities and has worried some of Russia's neighbours.

An American warship. The deal between the Russians and the French to buy warships is the biggest between a Nato country and Moscow Photo: GETTY

Russia buys warships from French
24 Dec 2010

It's one of the largest military deals between a Nato country and Moscow.

The Kremlin said in a statement that it "has made its choice" to buy two Mistral-class ships. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev informed French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday of the decision, Mr Sarkozy's office said in a statement.

The Mistral, which could carry as many as 16 helicopters and dozens of armoured vehicles, would allow Russia to land hundreds of troops quickly on foreign soil.

The prospect has alarmed Georgia, which fought a brief war against Russia in 2008, as well as the ex-Soviet Baltic nations in Nato.

France and Russia have been in talks about the sale for months, but negotiations had dragged on amid questions about how many ships would be built and where, and how much of the technology France would share.

France was seen as the leading contender for the contract, though Russian officials said they were also looking at similar ships built by Spain and Netherlands.

French companies DCNS and STX and Russia's OSK will build the first two ships, according to the deal, "which should be extended by the construction of two additional units," Mr Sarkozy's statement said.

The two presidents hailed what they called unprecedented co-operation, saying it showed their commitment to developing partnerships in defence and security.



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