"The decision to indefinitely postpone the delivery [of the Mistral ships] was made under the pressure of other countries. And we in France do not let others make decisions for France. General [Charles] de Gaulle taught us to be independent and the problem of the Mistral – in a wider context – is turning into a problem of French self-determination and the independence of its political will," Jean-Francois Mancel, who represents the Oise department in the French National Assembly, told Sputnik.
"My stance is very simple: I believe France should keep its promises and fulfill its obligations to Russia," the politician added.
"We should not forget that the issue of sanctions goes together with the issue of employment and income of France's population. If we do not sell the Mistral ships, if we do not deliver them in time, we will have to pay a significant penalty," Mancel said.
Mancel believes that it is in the best interests of France to maintain friendly relations with Russia, as it is a part of Europe.
The head of the French political party Debout la France (DLF), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, also believes that France should fulfill its contractual obligations regarding the Mistral delivery and act more independently on the international arena.
Russia and France signed a $1.6 billion deal for two Mistral-class ships in June 2011. The handover of the first ship, the Vladivostok, was scheduled for November 14, but did not take place.
On November 25, President Francois Hollande postponed the delivery of the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier to Russia over the situation in Ukraine.