Paris in talks about Putin warship deal

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President Francois Hollande says France is continuing discussions with Russia about a mammoth weapons deal.

It follows France’s decision to suspend delivery of a warship last year, citing Russia’s role in stoking conflict in Ukraine.

“We are negotiating to find a way out of the crisis,” Mr Hollande said.

The Mistral-class helicopter carrier was part of the biggest arms sale ever by a Nato country to the Kremlin. But Russia’s actions in Ukraine have made the French government reconsider the E1.2bn (£950m) deal, even if it means refunding payments to Russia.

Last week Russian president Vladimir Putin warned France that Russia expects its advance payments to be returned if the country fails to deliver the ship as agreed.