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Russian Training on Mistral Ship Delayed Again

Jun. 20, 2014 - 02:38PM   |  
By PIERRE TRAN   |   Comments
People hold Ukrainain, French, Crimean Tatar and European flags they demonstrate in front of the French-built Vladivostok warship to be sold to Russia, on June 1. Demonstrators in Saint-Nazaire protested against the sale of the Vladivostok and Sevastopol warships, two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia to the STX France shipyard located in Saint-Nazaire. (Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP via Getty Images)
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PARIS — A planned training of 400 Russian sailors for the Mistral-class helicopter carrier has been pushed back again, as the Russian Navy training ship Smolny is now due to arrive June 30, the planning schedule of the Saint-Nazaire harbor shows.

The sailors are due for training on the first Russian Mistral, named Vladivostok, designed by prime contractor DCNS.

Saint-Nazaire portís timetable shows the Smolny is expected to arrive 5 a.m. on June 30, and leave midnight Nov. 30.

The Smolny had been expected to arrive early June, then postponed to June 22, and now is expected to dock at the end of the month. No reason was immediately available to explain the fresh delay.

DCNS will handle the first phase of training by showing the Russian sailors around the ship and study the manuals. French training specialist DCI will handle the training at sea.

The US and Poland have called on France to undo the Ä1.2 billion (US $1.6 billion) sale of the Mistrals to Russia in the wake of the Ukraine crisis. The French government has said a decision will be made in October when the first ship is due for handing over to Russia. The second ship is due for delivery one year later. ■


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