April 16, 2015 / 1:07 PM / 2 years ago

Russia will not penalize France over Mistral decision: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a live broadcast nationwide call-in in Moscow April 16, 2015. REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will not impose penalties against France over its failure to fulfill a 1.2 billion euro contract to supply two Mistral helicopter carriers, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday

“We do intend to seek any penalties or fines ... but it is necessary that all costs we have incurred are covered,” Putin said during his annual televised call-in show.

“I assume the current French leadership and the French generally are good people and will return our money,” he said.

France last year suspended indefinitely the delivery of the first of the two warships ordered by Russia because of Moscow’s role in the Ukraine crisis.

Putin said Russia’s defense capability would not be hurt by France’s decision.

Reporting by Denis Pinchuk, Elizabeth Piper, Vladimir Soldatkin, Lidia Kelly, Andrey Kuzmin, Polina Devitt, Jack Stubbs, Jason Bush and Maria Tsvetkova; Writing by Jack Stubbs, Editing by Elizabeth Piper

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