MOSCOW, September 6 (RIA Novosti) - French President Francois Hollande said he will make a final decision on the delivery of two Mistral-class helicopters carriers in the end of October based on the situation in eastern Ukraine.
“I will make my final decision in the end of October, depending on the situation,” Hollande said in French at the press conference during NATO summit in Wales.
"We were never forced to suspend the contracts," Hollande said. “The level of sanctions, adopted by the European Union never envisaged that the ongoing contract can be put in question.”
Hollande set out two conditions for the delivery, namely an “efficient ceasefire” and a "political settlement."
Recently, France has come under strong pressure from the United States and its European partners to suspend the deal.
Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, was expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, was supposed to arrive in 2015.
However, the completion of the deal has been at risk since Western countries imposed sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it is not involved in the Ukrainian crisis, referred to the language of sanctions “counterproductive,” and said that such measures «threaten international peace and stability."