Brussels (AFP) - French President Francois Hollande said a controversial sale of two state-of-the art warships by France to Russia was still on course despite Moscow's widely opposed stand over Crimea.
The 2011 sale of the Mistral warships, worth one billion euros ($1.4 billion), was already a deep source of concern for France's NATO and European Union allies, coming only a few years after Russia's invasion of Georgia.
But despite the threat of another war involving Russia, Hollande, who was in Brussels at a European summit on the Ukrainian crisis, said France's commitment to deliver the military vessels was still alive.
"We respect our signed contracts," Hollande said. "We are not yet at that stage and we hope to avoid getting there," he said, referring to the potential of halting the deal.