World

France sells 2 disputed Mistral warships to Egypt after Russia deal derailed

  • FILE -  In this Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 file photo, the Vladivostok warship, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, docks on the port of Saint-Nazaire, western France.  France says Wednesday Sept.23, 2015 it is selling two Mistral-class warships originally intended for Russia to Egypt instead. Mistral-class warships can carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armored vehicles. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)

    FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 5, 2014 file photo, the Vladivostok warship, the first of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers ordered by Russia, docks on the port of Saint-Nazaire, western France. France says Wednesday Sept.23, 2015 it is selling two Mistral-class warships originally intended for Russia to Egypt instead. Mistral-class warships can carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armored vehicles. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 5, 2014 file photo, French-built warship BPC Vladivostock, designed to strengthen Russia's ability to deploy troops, tanks and helicopter gunships, leaves the Saint Nazaire's harbor, western France. France says Wednesday Sept.23, 2015 it is selling two Mistral-class warships originally intended for Russia to Egypt instead. Mistral-class warships can carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armored vehicles. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)

    FILE - In this March 5, 2014 file photo, French-built warship BPC Vladivostock, designed to strengthen Russia's ability to deploy troops, tanks and helicopter gunships, leaves the Saint Nazaire's harbor, western France. France says Wednesday Sept.23, 2015 it is selling two Mistral-class warships originally intended for Russia to Egypt instead. Mistral-class warships can carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armored vehicles. (AP Photo/David Vincent, File)  (The Associated Press)

France says it is selling two Mistral-class warships originally intended for Russia to Egypt instead.

In a statement Wednesday, the French president's office said Egypt would buy both ships. No price was given.

France agreed to refund 950 million euros ($1 billion) already paid by Russia after Paris canceled the sale, which was supposed to be the biggest arms sale ever by a NATO country to Russia but was detailed by the Ukrainian crisis.

Egypt also purchased 24 advanced fighter jets from France earlier this year for nearly $6 billion, as it sought international help to bomb Islamic State targets.

Mistral-class warships can carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armored vehicles.