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Russia Rejects Polish Claim That Egypt Will Sell Mistral Warships

One of the French-made Mistral warships anchored at the shipyard of Saint-Nazaire in October 2015

Russia says a report that Egypt has agreed to sell two French-made Mistral warships to Russia for $1 is "utter nonsense."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on October 21 that the comment about such a deal made by Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz the previous day is based on unreliable sources.

Peskov said the comment -- made by Macierewicz during a parliamentary debate -- can be explained by a "background of heightened commotion [currently] reigning in Warsaw."

Macierewicz told reporters on October 21 that he got the information "from good sources." He added that "if Egypt would now withdraw from this operation it would be a gain for world peace."

France originally built the two Mistrals -- which are amphibious assault ships that carry helicopters -- for Russia.

But Paris canceled the sale to Moscow after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula.

France had to refund the 950 million euros ($1 billion) that Russia had prepaid for the ships. French officials then sold the ships to Egypt.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov also dismissed Macierewicz's statement, calling it "silliness" and "nothing but TGIF (Thank God it's Friday) nonsense."

Based on reporting by AP and TASS