Paris waits until Nov to decide whether to deliver Mistral to Russia

29 October 2014 08:35
(QHA) -

Paris will wait until November to decide whether to deliver a new warship to Russia, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Drian announced.

The announcement comes as in September France suspended delivery of the first of two Mistral-class helicopter assault ships ordered by Russia amid fierce criticism from NATO allies.

On September 4, French President Francois Hollande's office pointed to Russia's support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, saying that the conditions for delivering the warship were "not to date in place."

Since then, Hollande has said a cease-fire deal reached in Minsk between Kyiv, Moscow, and eastern Ukraine's pro-Russian separatists must be "completely respected" before France delivers the ship.

France agreed in 2011 to build and sell the two assault ships to Russia.

The first originally was scheduled for delivery in October or November 2014 and the second in 2015.