ASHINGTON D.C. (AA) – The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that France’s decision to deliver a Mistral warship to Russia was “completely inappropriate”.
While the EU was discussing imposing sanctions on Russia over the downing of Malaysian airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, in which 298 people died, French President Francois Hollande said Monday that the first Mistral warship would be delivered to Russia as planned in October.
“Clearly we think it’s completely inappropriate,” said Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman. “And we’ve told them they should not do it.”
Quoting Secretary of State John Kerry and President Barack Obama, Harf said the downing of the civilian airliner should be a wake-up call for the Europeans to do more about Ukraine.
The contract between Russia and France for the warships is a €1.2 billion ($1.62 billion) deal that was signed by then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2011.
The deal covers two Mistral helicopter-carrier warships and is the first contract that a NATO member country signed to supply Russia with military equipment.
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