Delivery of French warship depends on Russia's attitude -Hollande
PARIS, July 21
PARIS, July 21 (Reuters) - 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 Francois Hollande said on Monday.
Speaking during a dinner with the presidential press corps, Hollande said that a first 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.
"Does that mean that the rest of the contract - the second Mistral - can be carried through? That depends on Russia's attitude," Hollande added.
France has come under intense pressure from allies over the sale of the warships with London and Washington renewing their opposition on Monday.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said earlier on Monday he doubted France would cancel the contract, which he said would be worse for France than for Russia. (Reporting by Julien Ponthus, Elizabeth Pineau and Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Ken Wills)