France suspends delivery of warship to Russia

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

PARIS (AP) — President Francois Hollande's office says France is suspending the delivery of a hulking warship to Russia amid security concerns about Moscow's actions in neighboring Ukraine.

The announcement, after Hollande convened a special defense panel, comes a day before the start of a NATO summit and after months of pressure from France to suspend the sale amid tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Hollande's office called the fighting in Ukraine "grave" and said Russia's recent actions in eastern Ukraine harm "the foundations of security in Europe."

The Vladivostok, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, was to be delivered by late October.

Despite talk Wednesday of a possible cease-fire in Ukraine, Hollande said that's not enough to allow France to authorize the delivery of the warship.