A senior official of the Russian defense industry called Thursday for "absurd" an agreement with France for the purchase of two Mistral BPC.
Vice-President of the military-industrial commission, Ivan Kharchenko, said the contract signed with a French shipyard by the previous Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov, had caused serious damage to the state and the Russian shipbuilding industry.
"We discussed the absurdity of this decision. It was an initiative of Serdyukov. This is not the only damage it has caused to the government and the industry, "Kharchenko said Thursday at a meeting with defense companies.
Kharchenko explained that vessels must now be completed, otherwise Russia "lose more" if it was backtracking on this contract. A contract for two other Mistral is still discussed, but was delayed.
Serdyukov was dismissed following an investigation into alleged fraud in subsidiaries of the Ministry of Defence.
Senior Russian officials have been highly critical of the poor performance of equipment manufactured in Russia in recent years, and have often threatened to buy abroad if necessary.
In June 2001, President Dmitry Medvedev stated that the Ministry of Defence could buy foreign military equipment if the Russian equipment was too expensive.