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France mulls refund of Mistral warship contract with Russia

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By Euronews  with AP, Reuters
France mulls refund of Mistral warship contract with Russia

France said on Wednesday it could cancel and refund a 1.2 billion euro military contract with Russia that’s been frozen for months.

Paris suspended the delivery of two Mistral warships last November amid EU sanctions on Moscow over Russia’s role in the war in Ukraine.

French President Francois Hollande said he would discuss “every option” with his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Friday in Armenia.

“As I have said, the delivery of the Mistrals is not possible in the current context,” Hollande told reporters after meeting Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

“If the ships are not delivered, I don’t see how they can be paid for. It’s a pretty simple principle,” Hollande added. “So, depending on the various scenarios, we will have either payment or reimbursement.”

Last week, Putin said Moscow would not impose penalties against France if it failed to fulfil the contract, but he said all the costs incurred by Russia should be covered by Paris.