Several countries eyeing French warships withheld from Russia: official

A mistral warship heads out for its first sea trials off Saint-Nazaire, France, on March 16, 2015Canada, India, Singapore and Egypt are “seriously” interested in buying France’s two Mistral warships, a senior French official has said, after Paris scrapped a deal to sell the vessels to Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Louis Gautier, an official who advises the prime minister on defence and security matters, also told lawmakers this week that the cost of abandoning the agreement with Russia would be at least 1.1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) if the government did not find another buyer, according to a summary of his comments obtained by AFP Friday. The deal to sell the warships to Russia was formally cancelled in early August in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

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