French Defense Minister says decision on Russian Mistral deal due in November

French President François Hollande (aka General Hollande) will decide “during November” whether to deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers to Russia, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday.

“The president… said that if the political conditions did not change he did not envisage giving the authorization for delivery,” Le Drian told reporters.

Le Drian was referring to a statement by Hollande who had said that he would only hand over the first carrier – the Vladivostok – if there was a lasting ceasefire and a political settlement in Ukraine. Le Drian declined to say whether the conditions had now been met, Reuters said.

Surprised? Not at all. General Hollande is obeying orders from his patron, the Emperor savior of the world by way of wars. And if the Emperor says “don’t deliver the Mistrals”  the General kisses his hand and obeys.

Back in July, it was that other great egaliatarian president, Barack Obama, who urged Americans to tear free from the shackles of cynicism and to unleash some more of that hopium that got Obama elected in the first place. Now it is the turn of that other just as impressive socialist, France’s own General Francois Hollande, who just like Obama has seen his popularity rating crumble to unprecedented levels, come up with his own prescription for how to fix the troubles that ail France. In short: “less lamenting and disparaging, more confidence.”

From Reuters:

In the television interview to mark Bastille Day, when a crowd stormed a Paris prison on July 14, 1789, at the outset of the French Revolution, Hollande said his compatriots were more inclined than some others to put their country down.

“We are very proud but, at the same time, I would say there is a sort of sickness, which is not serious but which can be contagious, whereby we are always lamenting and disparaging,” he said.

“Speak well of your country because, when I’m abroad, people do speak well of France, of what it’s doing in the international arena, in the diplomatic sphere, on defense, the “operations” we have carried out for peace, but also innovation, companies.”

The president also cited entrepreneurs, major companies with significant exports, the tourist industry and agriculture.

“We have to fight but, most importantly, we have to have confidence in ourselves,” he said.

Bottom line: watch your president and government lie every day while pandering and preaching, working solely on behalf of the rich, while you rot away in your part-time jobs or worse, unemployed, surviving day to day on the measly pittance the government hands you to make you a docile little handout addicted serf, and at the end of the day, whatever you do, don’t become a jaded, cynical lamenter and disparager, but have “hope and confidence.” Truly the road to socialist utopia is paved with best intentions.

Things got much worse for Francois Hollande: The economy is lagging; his government is under fire; and his private life was exposed in a ravaging book by the former first lady.

The developments have helped push Hollande’s popularity to new record lows. Three polls released in recent days show that he has lower approval ratings than every other French president in modern times.

Going back to the Mistrals, Russia and France, via French ship builder DCNS, signed in 2011 a contract for the construction Mistral-class ships, a warship that can carry helicopters. The deal was worth 1.2 billion euro. The Vladivostok, the first carried, was expected to be in Russia’s hands by the end of 2014, while the second ship, the Sevastopol, is expected in 2015.

The sanctions against Russia imposed by the U.S. and its European puppets, including France, have added factor to the delays, which ultimately irked Russia. But DCNS told the Western nations their sanctions cannot prohibit the construction and transfer of Mistral ships to the country. Yep, breach of contract by France.

Russia will soon be building its own warships, Russian Navy Deputy Commander-in-Chief Rear Admiral Victor Bursuk said over the weekend. Admiral made the announcement on Russia’s frustrations over France, which is said to be delaying the turnover of its Mistral-class ships.

Bursuk told Echo of Moscow radio over the weekend the deal of the Mistral helicopter carriers was executed because “it was one of military-technical cooperation contracts.” He went on to say that future construction of ships of this kind will be built at Russian enterprises.

French President Francois Hollande in September had said he will disapprove the transfer of the Vladivostok vessel unless Ukraine situation improves. He explained the conditions surrounding the delivery of the ship is a political statement to the conflict.

Sergei Ivanov, Kremlin chief of staff, said on Thursday Russia will not have second thoughts and will sue France if the latter fails to honor the Mistral contract. “We will file a lawsuit and demand compensation [if the contract is not fulfilled], as it’s commonly done in a civilized world,” Ivanov told reporters.

The Vladivostok has finished a series of tests in September. It took off from the Saint-Nazaire French port for sea trials.

Russian news agency TASS, quoting an unidentified source from the French Defence Ministry, said that “despite France’s hesitations,” the first Mistral helicopter carrier will be delivered to Russia “by mid-November.” The carrier can carry 16 helicopters. It has a displacement of 21 tonnes, maximum body length of 210 metres, speed of 18 knots and a range of up to 20,000 miles. It can also carry several dozen armoured vehicles.

So, if you choose to keep the Emperor happy, Mr. Hollande, and not to deliver the Mistrals, you can shove them where the sun doesn’t shine.

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