Canada, Singapore or Egypt may buy Mistrals after deal with Russia nixed
Several nations have been mentioned among potential buyers of French-built Mistral-class warships after Paris refused to deliver them to Russia, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in an interview with French radio RTL on Thursday.
Yet, he did not name those countries.
He explained the decision to nix the deal with Russia by ongoing aggression against Ukraine, and France wouldn't like to "add new risks to the existing threats," he told RTL.
At the same time, Reuters reported that Canada and Singapore had been mentioned as potential buyers of the Mistrals. So has Egypt, which has just bought French fighter jets and naval frigates.
France, whose navy already has three Mistral warships, would look for other buyers for the two ships.
"I am convinced there will be other buyers. Already a number of countries have expressed an interest for these two ships," Le Drian said.
As Reuters reported earlier, the total cost to France of reimbursing Russia for cancelling two warship contracts will be less than EUR 1.2 billion.
"Talks between President Putin and President Francois Hollande concluded yesterday [August 5]. There is no further dispute on the matter," Reuters quoted Le Drian as saying.