Paris, November 25, 2014
Q. – On relations with Russia, the delivery of the Mistral ships is still on hold; Moscow is threatening France with financial claims. What deadline have you set yourselves for deciding yes or no?
THE MINISTER – The deadline is set by the contract. There are contractual clauses, which I don’t need to set out here, but we believe that the conditions for delivery haven’t been met – for obvious reasons today, when you look at what’s happening in Ukraine.
Moreover, since you ask the question, let me take the opportunity to say that issues are being raised on both sides. On the Russian side, there’s a Russian presence, either directly or through separatists who have been interposed, which is unacceptable, but, over the past few days a number of statements have been made on the Ukrainian side which are very problematical. When the Ukrainians say they’ll no longer pay the pensions of those people in the east, or when the new government says that its goal is now for Ukraine to join NATO, it obviously poses huge problems.
So we’re sticking by – and of course I discussed this with my Russian counterpart, who was in Vienna yesterday, and with the Americans, with others, with my German counterpart –, we want to come back to what’s called the Minsk Agreement, which everyone signed and which provides a road map for returning to a situation of peace, which isn’t the case today.
Q. – OK, and so there’s no decision in the immediate future?
THE MINISTER – The conditions haven’t been met for delivery, that’s clear. (…)./.