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Russian sailors in limbo in French port after sensitive warship deal put on hold

  • France Russia Warships-1.jpg

    Russian sailors stand next to the Vladivostok warship in the port of Saint-Nazaire, western France, Friday, Sept.5, 2014. Responding to international pressure, France suspended Wednesday the delivery of the warship to Russia at least until November amid security concerns over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis. The Vladivostok, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, was due to be delivered next month as part of a 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) contract — the biggest-ever sale of NATO weaponry to Moscow. (AP Photo/David Vincent) (The Associated Press)

  • France Russia Warships-2.jpg

    The Vladivostok warship docks on the port of Saint-Nazaire, western France, Friday, Sept.5, 2014. Responding to international pressure, France suspended Wednesday the delivery of the warship to Russia at least until November amid security concerns over Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis. The Vladivostok, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, was due to be delivered next month as part of a 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) contract — the biggest-ever sale of NATO weaponry to Moscow. (AP Photo/David Vincent) (The Associated Press)

Scores of Russian sailors are training on a French warship in an Atlantic port even though its transfer to the Russian Navy is now in doubt.

About 150 Russian Navy servicemen fanned out Friday around the highly secured site where the French ship is being completed. They have been in the town of Saint Nazaire for weeks to train on the helicopter carrier, called the Vladivostok.

The French government put the delivery of the controversial ship on hold this week because of Russia's role in Ukraine's conflict. It's the biggest arms sale by a NATO country to Russia.

French President Francois Hollande said Friday that he would reassess the deal in late October, and insisted on a lasting cease-fire and political settlement in Ukraine.