Russia reminds France of Mistral deal amid AUKUS scandal

France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers, Maria Zakharova, an official spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry wrote on her Telegram channel.

Zakharova commented on the statements from French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian about anger and bitterness against the backdrop of Australia's pullout from the agreement with France's Naval Group on the construction of submarines. 

In 2015, she recalled, at the initiative of Paris, France terminated as agreement with Moscow on the construction of Mistral helicopter carriers.

"Or is it just the knife in your back that is a bad knife?" Zakharova wrote sarcastically.

Earlier, it was reported that after the establishment of the AUKUS alliance, Australia pulled out from the agreement on the construction of submarines with French shipbuilding company Naval Group, which the media called the "deal of the century". French Foreign Minister Le Drian said that Australia stabbed France in the back. The relationship of trust between Canberra and Paris was undermined, he noted.

In 2011, Russia and France agreed to build two multi-purpose amphibious assault helicopter carriers of the Mistral family. The contract, worth 1.2 billion euros, was terminated in 2015 due to events in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions against Russia. Subsequently, Egypt bought the ships from France.

Russia, France and Mistrals