Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Web users call for peace in Gaza

Read more

WEB NEWS

NSA targets "Tor" network users

Read more

WEB NEWS

Teen slammed for taking smiling selfie at Auschwitz

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French government hopes to collect €1.8bn from foreign accounts

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for immediate Gaza ceasefire

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

Europe

France may cancel Russian warship order over Crimea

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-19

As Russia moved to annex Crimea, defying the US and Europe, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said France would consider cancelling a €1.2 billion contract to sell the Russian Navy two Mistral helicopter carriers.

Speaking during an interview on French television channel TF1 on Monday, Fabius described as illegal last weekend’s referendum over whether Crimea should secede from Ukraine and join Russia. He called the situation “the most serious crisis since the end of the Cold War”.

“If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin continues like he’s been doing, at that moment we can envisage cancelling these sales,” Fabius said, referring to the two Mistral helicopter carriers.

But he warned that such a move would only be made if there was a third round of sanctions against Russia, stressing that cancelling the contracts would also hurt France. He said that he would call on other countries, in particular Britain, to take similar actions with the interests of Russian oligarchs in London, for example.

On Tuesday the crisis intensified as Putin signed a treaty making Crimea a part of Russia. Although the measure has yet to be approved by Russia’s parliament, it was a sign that the Kremlin has so far been unfazed by US and European sanctions.

In response, Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that his country had suspended all bilateral military cooperation with Russia. US Vice-President Joe Biden said that further sanctions would be imposed against Russia, adding to the travel bans and asset freezes already targeting high-profile Russian and Ukrainian officials.

Until now, France has been reluctant to take its Russian warships deal off the table, declaring as recently as two weeks ago that the sale would go ahead.

France made the lucrative deal to sell the carriers to Russia in 2011, attracting criticism from several of its NATO allies who feared Russia’s military resurgence following the 2008 Georgian war. The ships, which were built in the western French port city of Saint-Nazaire, were scheduled to be delivered to Russia by the last quarter of 2014.
 

Date created : 2014-03-18

  • RUSSIA

    Crimea an ‘inseparable’ part of Russia, Putin tells parliament

    Read more

  • CRIMEA

    Putin signs decree declaring Crimea a ‘sovereign’ state

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    Putin's France visit renews fears over possible warship purchase

    Read more

COMMENT(S)