PARIS, July 21 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)