NEWPORT, Wales, Sept 4 French President Francois
Hollande said on Thursday that a ceasefire and a political
settlement in Ukraine were conditions for France to deliver a
warship it has built for Russia.
Hollande told reporters on the sidelines of a NATO summit
that the contract to supply two Mistral-class helicopter
carriers was neither cancelled nor suspended, but the conditions
for delivering the first ship - due in October - were not ripe.
"What are the conditions? A ceasefire and a political
settlement," he said. "Today these conditions are not in place."
If there were further complications, delivery would be
delayed but the contract would not be suspended, he added.
France has come under strong public pressure from the United
States and European partners to scrap the deal, signed under
former President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011. Hollande denied that
this pressure had forced his hand.
(Reporting by Julien Ponthus; Writing by Paul Taylor)