Might as well start the week with Mistral news. An informed RIA Novosti source in the OPK suggests this week could be decisive for negotiations on the sale of Mistral to Russia. But can anything really be decisive in a drawn-out process like this?
The news agency’s interlocutor, much like Anatoliy Antonov, says:
“The situation is not very simple, the negotiating process is going with difficulty.”
“The stumbling block remains the ship’s outfitting, disagreement concerns two NATO standard command and control systems — combat information-command system Senit 9 and battle group (fleet) command and control system SIC-21.”
“The French agreed to transfer Senit 9 to Russia without a production license, they don’t want to transfer SIC-21 with the ship at all.”
RIA Novosti reminds that Russia has insisted on Mistral’s transfer with all its systems and equipment.
Ruslan Pukhov bravely tells RIA Novosti, when it comes to amphibious command ships, it’s a buyer’s market, so Russia will find another country to sell it if France declines. That’s at least half true, but it’s also true that France is something of a special case. The Dutch, Spanish, or South Koreans might not be willing to give everything Moscow wants either.