PARIS – French President Francois Hollande is defending plans to deliver a warship to Russia, despite calls for a European arms embargo against Moscow over the fighting in Ukraine.
European Union foreign ministers are meeting Tuesday in Brussels, with some calling for tougher sanctions against Russia.
Hollande told reporters that the French-made warship deal wouldn't fall under new sanctions because it was finalized in 2011. French officials have also argued that the ship would be delivered without any weapons.
Hollande said Monday night that the first warship is nearly finished, adding, "The Russians have paid. We would have to reimburse 1.1 billion euros" ($1.5 billion) if France were to cancel the deal.
Hollande said a decision on future warships as part of the deal would "depend on Russia's attitude."