World

France to refund $1 billion to Russia for canceling the sale of 2 warships

FILE - In this Sept.5, 2014 file photo, workers walk past the the Vladivostok warship on the port of Saint-Nazaire, western France. France will refund 950 million euro ($1 billion) to Russia for the cancellation of the sale of two Mistral-class warships, but avoid paying penalties. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)

FILE - In this Sept.5, 2014 file photo, workers walk past the the Vladivostok warship on the port of Saint-Nazaire, western France. France will refund 950 million euro ($1 billion) to Russia for the cancellation of the sale of two Mistral-class warships, but avoid paying penalties. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)  (The Associated Press)

France will refund 950 million euros ($1 billion) to Russia for the cancellation of the sale of two Mistral-class warships, but won't have to pay penalties.

In a bill going to France's lower house of Parliament next week, the government details the agreement reached with Russia last month.

According to the text, the "only condition" laid down by Russia is to receive the money "as soon as possible." Then, France will be able to sell the warships to another country.

Egypt and Saudi Arabia are reported to be on top of the list of potential purchasers.

The 1.2 billion-euro ($1.3 billion) deal was canceled last year because of the Ukrainian crisis. It was supposed to be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to Russia.