French warship in Russia amid talks on landmark sale

ST PETERSBURG Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:54pm IST

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - A French helicopter carrier of a type Paris hopes to sell to Moscow docked in Saint Petersburg on Monday following talks on the deal, which would be greeted with unease by Georgia and the United States.

The Mistral-class warship, which can be used in amphibious assaults and can carry tanks and other armoured vehicles docked near the Admiralty building, the tsarist-era navy headquarters.

Russia's top brass have said they hoped to buy up to three Mistral carriers to fill a major gap in its military, whose weaknesses were exposed during last year's war with Georgia. It would also mark Russia's biggest arms purchase from abroad, undermining decades of military self-sufficiency.

"It's an unofficial visit on the invitation of the Russian navy," said Thomas Buffin, a French embassy spokesman in Moscow. He declined to comment on the progress of talks but said the Mistral may join Russian ships for manoeuvres in the Baltic Sea.

Deputy Russian Defence Minister Vladimir Popovkin confirmed in September that Moscow was in talks about the purchase of up to three Mistral-class ships but that no deal had been done.

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said the sale would hinge on a political decision in Paris.

As a NATO member, France may face pressure from the United States not to sell Russia advanced technology that could be used in a confrontation with its forces or against its allies, such as Georgia.]

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin travels to France later this next week for talks with Nicolas Sarkozy.

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine Crisis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Children's corpses in Korean ferry reveal desperate attempts to escape.  Full Article 

Reconciliation Deal

Reconciliation Deal

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement.  Full Article 

Missing Airliner

Missing Airliner

Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery  Full Article 

Reassuring Allies

Reassuring Allies

Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan  Full Article 

CAR Violence

CAR Violence

Exclusive: Russia, China block C.African Republic blacklistings at U.N.  Full Article 

Apology for Massacre

Apology for Massacre

Turkey's Erdogan offers condolences for 1915 Armenia killings.  Full Article 

Syria War

Syria War

Syrians' plight worsens, hope for political deal fades  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage