Industry and Trade Minister: Russia Sees No Problem in Producing Own Mistral-Type Ships

“If the task comes along to build analogous ships, then we’ll do that since this was [an international] cooperation: the components and maneuvering system were Russian,” Manturov said.

 08/09/2014

MOSCOW, September 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is capable of building its own Mistral helicopter carriers similar to the ones France is currently constructing, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said Monday in an interview on Rossiya-24 television.

“If the task comes along to build analogous ships, then we’ll do that since this was [an international] cooperation: the components and maneuvering system were Russian,” Manturov said.

The president of Russia’s United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), Aleksei Rakhmanov, said earlier the company would suffer no serious damage if the Mistral contracts were broken.

French President Francois Hollande said Saturday he would make a final decision on the delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers at the end of October based on the situation in eastern Ukraine.

The French president said the conditions for supplies of the warships were a real ceasefire in Ukraine and the signing of an agreement on the political settlement of the crisis. Hollande stressed that the EU sanctions would not hamper the country’s obligations to Russia.

Recently, France has come under strong pressure from the United States and its European partners to suspend the deal.

Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, was expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, was supposed to arrive in 2015.

However, the completion of the deal has been at risk since Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is not involved in the Ukrainian conflict, referring to the language of sanctions “counterproductive,” and said that such measures “threaten international peace and stability.”

Activists and union members held demonstrations at the Saint-Nazaire shipyard on Sunday, calling for the first delivery of the carriers to Russia.

 

 

Mistral Ships to Be Delivered Despite Current Level of Sanctions – Hollande

The Mistral vessels are expected to be deployed in Russia’s Pacific Fleet. They are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 soldiers each.

15:48 20/08/2014 

MOSCOW, August 20 (RIA Novosti) – There is nothing that would stop France from delivering two Mistral helicopter carrier ships to Russia, French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday.

“Today’s level of sanctions will not hamper deliveries … Should there be new tensions and it is difficult to find a way out, we will have to think of something. As for now, it is all good,” Hollande was quoted as saying by Le Monde.

Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion contract for two Mistral-class helicopter carriers in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, is expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, should arrive in 2015.

The completion of the deal was at risk after Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine. However, the French side said it would fulfill its contractual obligations and deliver the ships as agreed.

The Mistral vessels are expected to be deployed in Russia’s Pacific Fleet. They are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 soldiers each.

Russia to Destroy S-300 Weapons Systems Meant for Export to Syria

S-300 air defense system

14:12 11/08/2014 

MOSCOW, August 11 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s anti-aircraft S-300 weapons systems, intended for export to Syria before sanctions were imposed, will be destroyed, the director for the Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation said Monday.

“The S-300 complexes meant for Syria will be destroyed. This decision has been made on the level of the country’s political leadership,” Konstantin Biryulin said.

Asked if the complexes could be sold to a different country, Biryulin said that it was possible, “but very unlikely.”

Russia is the world’s second-largest weapons exporter after the United States. In 2013, Russia exported weapons valued at about $15.7 billion and another $2 billion between January and March 2014.

Altogether, as of March 2014, Russia’s weapons export orders portfolio exceeded $47 billion. Despite sanctions imposed by some Western countries, Russia’s leadership claims the country’s military-industrial complex will not be impacted and will only grow as a result.

The European Union, the United States and its allies since March have compiled several sanctions lists against Russian companies, banks and politicians, freezing their bank accounts, barring them from entry and have refused to buy Russian goods. The move has been linked to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

In a more recent development, in July, Washington introduced a so-called Sectoral Sanctions Identification List that specifically targeted the Russian economy’s most sensitive sectors, such as the defense, energy and banking sectors. The European Union soon followed the United States’ lead, imposing third-stage economic penalties that limited Russian state-owned banks’ access to EU capital markets, outlawed arms trade with Moscow, established an export ban for dual-use goods for military end-users and curtailed Russian access to sensitive technologies, particularly in the oil sector.

Moscow stressed that Russia was never involved in the Ukrainian conflict and has repeatedly called the measures counterproductive, saying the sanctions could have a boomerang effect on Western economies.

Western Sanctions Not Affecting International Military Exhibition in Russia

Armored and tactical vehicles at military exhibition in Zhukovsky, Moscow region

12:53 11/08/2014 
 

ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow Region), August 11 (RIA Novosti) – Western sanctions imposed on Russia have not disrupted German, US, and French participation in the Oboronexpo 2014 military technology exhibition outside Moscow, organizers said Monday.

“The leaders of the Russian military industry are among the participants from 11 countries, including Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Germany, India, China, the United States of America, France, the Czech Republic and Switzerland,” the organizers said in a press release.

Oboronexpo 2014 is to take place on August 13-17 in the Russian town of Zhukovsky in Moscow Region. The main aim of the exhibition is to demonstrate the current trends in the military-industrial complex, including in missiles and artillery, armored and tactical vehicles, unmanned multi-purpose vehicle systems and communications equipment.

Representatives of government agencies, business circles, industrial structures, financial institutions and scientific organizations, as well as the leadership of Russia and other countries are scheduled to take part in Oboronexpo 2014.

Expositions from more than 250 participants are to be held over an area of more than 6,000 square meters.

US sanctions demand the revision of strategy of concern “Kalashnikov”

08/08/2014 ARMS-TASS

 

MOSCOW, August 7. (ARMS-TASS). The third phase of American sanctions, which affect  the holdings of the State Corporation “Rosteh” and Concern “Almaz-Antey”, demands a revision of strategy of concern “Kalashnikov”, the head of information-analytical department of the state corporation Vasily Brovko said.

 

“90 percent of civilian weapons sales  to the United States. But already there is  an understanding of where it is possible to redirect  the sales. This is compensated volume,” – he said

German Arms Manufacturer Downgrades Annual Forecast Amid EU Sanctions on Russia

Rheinmetall headquarters in Dusseldorf

15:51 07/08/2014
 

MOSCOW, August 7 (RIA Novosti) – German military technology group and automotive parts supplier Rheinmetall has been forced to downgrade its annual forecast for fiscal 2014 after the cancellation of an export permit for Russia amid EU sanctions against Moscow, an official statement from the company said Thursday.

“Due to the fact that the export license for the Mulino combat training center in Russia has been withdrawn owing to changes in the political environment, it is no longer possible to fulfill the respective contract from today’s perspective. Rheinmetall already assumes that this will lead to financial burdens in the current fiscal year,” the statement published on the company’s website said.

According to the forecast, the defense sector’s operating result has been adjusted from 85 million to 95 million euros ($114 million to $127 million) to 65 million to 75 million euros ($87 million to $100 million).

“Rheinmetall is working hard to ensure that these burdens are kept as low as possible including the utilization of all available legal options,” the statement said.

Earlier this week, the German government canceled a 100 million euro ($134 million) joint project between Russia’s Defense Ministry and Rheinmetall for the building of the Mulino combat training facility in Russia’s Western Military District.

The deal was canceled in light of the sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia.

On Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry said it was preparing documents in order to sue Rheinmetall over the cancellation of the contract.

The European Union and the United States have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian companies, banks, politicians, as well as the financial, energy and defense sectors of the Russian economy, accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs.

Moscow has repeatedly called the measures counterproductive and denied any involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

Russia Still Interested in Mistral Warship Deliveries – Defense Ministry

Mistral helicopter carrier

14:55 04/08/2014 

ALABINO (Moscow Region), August 4 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is still interested in France delivering the Mistral helicopter carriers commissioned under a previously agreed contract despite Western sanctions against Moscow, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov said Monday.

“When the contract was being signed, we were interested. The situation has not changed,” Borisov said, adding that if France did not fulfil the contract, it would have to pay cancellation fees.

“Everything is spelled out in our contract. If they do not deliver, according to the contract’s conditions, they will have to pay cancellation fees,” Borisov said.

Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class helicopter carriers in June 2011. Under the contract, the first ship, the Vladivostok, is to be delivered to Russia by the end of the year, while the second, the Sevastopol, is due in 2015.

However, the contract came into question after the European Union imposed additional sanctions against Russia last week, following several previous rounds, due to Russia’s alleged role in the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis.

After a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane crashed over eastern Ukraine last month, the West blamed Russia for supplying militia forces in the region with weapons that could have been used to shoot down the plane, which had 298 people on board. The United States imposed sectoral sanctions, including against the Russian defense sector, and the European Union followed up with its own restrictions, which have so far largely been targeted against the financial sector.

The Mistral vessels, which are expected to be deployed in Russia’s Pacific Fleet, are capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing craft, 70 armored vehicles and 450 soldiers each.

Russia is also planning to complete the construction of a Mistral-class carrier base in the country’s Far East port of Vladivostok by the fall of 2015. The base would be a complex with garrisons, service support and fueling facilities.