France is considering discarding a EUR1.4bn deal to deliver two Mistral-class warships to the Russian Navy if Moscow spurs further escalation in the Ukraine.

Denying the legitimacy of the referendum in Crimea to join Russia, Paris urged Moscow to implement vital measures to shun "useless and dangerous" escalation in Ukraine.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: "If Putin carries on like this, we could consider canceling these sales.

"We will ask others, I’m thinking of the British in particular, to do something equivalent with the assets of the Russian oligarchs in London.

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By GlobalData
"Fabius also added that if Moscow were to expand its incursion beyond the eastern part of Ukraine, the West would implement tougher action against the Kremlin."

"The sanction must affect everyone."

Adding that the potential loss of the contracts would have a negative impact on the French economy, Fabius noted that such a move forms part of "phase three" of economic sanctions against Moscow.

Fabius also added that if Moscow were to expand its incursion beyond the eastern part of Ukraine, the West would implement tougher action against the Kremlin.

The two warships are being built under a EUR1.4bn contract signed in June 2011, with the first French Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, named Vladivostok, due to be delivered to Moscow by the end of 2014, followed by the second (Sevastopol) in 2015 to join Russia’s Black Sea Fleet.

Defence Technology