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Russia/Mistral ships/NATO summit

Published on September 8, 2014
Press conference given by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

Newport, September 5, 2014


I want to draw attention to the Mistrals, since we’ve been asked about this for weeks, months. We were never compelled to suspend the Mistrals contract. The level of sanctions the Europeans adopted never provided for ongoing contracts being called into question and I’ve always stuck to that.

At the same time, I and the relevant ministers, Laurent Fabius and Jean-Yves Le Drian – this was the aim of the Defence Council – didn’t consider it possible to deliver the first ship, which has now been built and whose delivery is due to our client at the end of October. It isn’t possible to deliver this ship while there’s evidence of Russian soldiers being deployed in Ukraine and, at the very least, the separatists being given support.

Consequently, I’ve set two conditions for the delivery of the first ship, and for the second one, which is under construction.

The first condition is for there to be a ceasefire, an actual ceasefire. The second condition is for there to be an agreement on a political settlement, and one which makes sufficient headway for us to be sure that it clearly paves the way to a resolution of the crisis in Ukraine. So I’ll base my decision at the end of October on the situation. (…)./.