Surprise, Mistral Wins

According to ITAR-TASS, General Staff Chief Nikolay Makarov told journalists today the decision to buy French Mistral helicopter carriers has been made.  He said:

“Today agreement on necessary price parameters is proceeding, and I think all documents will be ready this year.”

There are no technology transfer issues related to Mistral, according to the French Prime Minister.  He said a Russian high-level expert group has been in France talking about price and several technical issues.

The more cautious Prime Minister Putin, for his part, preferred to wait until the official end of the Defense Minister tender, but reiterated that specialists were working in France yesterday to clarify all issues of interest to Russia, and the report will appear later.

The military says the Mistral will appear in the Russian Navy in a year or two, according to the news service.

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