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France Denies Mistral Delivery to Russia in November

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin adjusts his tie while seated at the start of debate on France's 2015 budget at the National Assembly in Paris.

France said Thursday that the conditions were not yet met to deliver the first of two controversial Mistral warships to Russia, contradicting reports that Russia had received an invitation to take delivery on Nov. 14.

"The conditions today are not met to deliver the Mistral," French Finance Minister Michel Sapin told RTL radio in an interview.

"What are these conditions? It is that in Ukraine we are in a situation that is becoming more normal, that allows for things to cool down."

RIA news agency on Wednesday quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin as saying that the invitation was sent for Russia to take delivery of the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers from France on Nov. 14.

RIA also quoted Rogozin as saying the second vessel would be put afloat the same day.

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