Mistral to be delivered to Russia as planned in October: Hollande

22 July 2014 09:43
(QHA) -

French President Francois Hollande said the first Mistral warship was nearly finished and would be delivered as planned in October, despite strong opposition from France's allies.

"For the time being, a level of sanctions has not been decided on that would prevent this delivery,"- Hollande said.

A decision on whether to deliver a second Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia will depend on Moscow's attitude over the Ukraine crisis, French President noted.

"Does that mean that the rest of the contract - the second Mistral - can be carried through? That depends on Russia's attitude," Hollande said.

For the second delivery to be cancelled, EU sanctions would have to be decided at the level of heads of state and government, a French government official said.

France has come under intense pressure from allies over the sale of the warships with London and Washington renewing their opposition on Monday.

Urging EU countries to stop selling defence equipment to Russia, British Prime Minister David Cameron said going ahead with the warship contract would be unthinkable in Britain.