World

French president OK to refund Russia if his country doesn't deliver the Mistral-class warship

  • French President Francois Hollande, right, speaks with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Poroshenko is set to discuss current developments in Ukraine with his French counterpart. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)

    French President Francois Hollande, right, speaks with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Poroshenko is set to discuss current developments in Ukraine with his French counterpart. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • French President Francois Hollande, right, speaks with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Poroshenko is set to discuss current developments in Ukraine with his French counterpart. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)

    French President Francois Hollande, right, speaks with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko during a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Poroshenko is set to discuss current developments in Ukraine with his French counterpart. (AP Photo/Philippe Wojazer, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

  • French President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes  Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace  in Paris, France, Wednesday, April 22, 2015.  Poroshenko is set to discuss current developments in Ukraine with the French President. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, Pool)

    French President Francois Hollande, left, welcomes Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, in the courtyard of the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Poroshenko is set to discuss current developments in Ukraine with the French President. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, Pool)  (The Associated Press)

French President Francois Hollande has acknowledged for the first time that France will have to give Russia a refund if the country doesn't sell the Mistral-class warship whose delivery has been suspended last year because of the conflict in Ukraine.

At a press conference Wednesday with Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, Hollande said: "If you don't deliver, you must refund. So far, the delivery of the Mistral is not possible."

The Mistral-class helicopter carrier was part of a giant 1.2 billion euros deal ($1.28 billion) that was supposed to be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to Russia.

Last week Russian President Vladimir Putin warned France that Russia expects its advance payments to be refunded if the ship isn't delivered.