MOSCOW, November 16 (Sputnik) — The decision on Mistral-class ships deliveries to Russia will be taken without any pressure and with an account of France's interests, President Francois Hollande stated Sunday at a press conference following the G20 summit.
"I will take my decision without any pressure, wherever it may come from, and based on two criteria — the interests of France and the appreciation I have of the situation," AFP quoted Hollande as saying.
"There is no pressure of time either," he added.
Russia and France signed a 1.2-billion euro ($1.5 billion) deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The first carrier, the Vladivostok, is expected in Russia by the end of 2014. The second ship, the Sevastopol, is to arrive in 2015.
The completion of the deal has been at risk since the West started imposing targeted economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crisis. Hollande threatened to suspend the deliveries of the ships on account of Russia's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, a claim Moscow has repeatedly denied.
Moscow said if the contact was cancelled, Paris would have to pay a large penalty. It also said Russia would be able to build the Mistral-class helicopter carriers on its own should anything go wrong.