The deal, worth %1.2 billion, was signed in 2011 but France faced pressure to withdraw from the arrangement after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine. The French government suspended delivery of the ships last year.
Russia will be reimbursed for money already paid under the contract, and France will retain ownership of the helicopter carriers. Russian media reported that more than one billion euros had already been deposited in a Russian bank account by France.
In 2008, Vladimir Vysotsky, head of the Russian navy, said his forces would have been victorious in Georgia “in just 40 minutes” if his Black Sea fleet had had the French warships. Shortly afterwards, Putin said during a visit to Paris: “I can assure you that if we purchase this armament, we will use it wherever deemed necessary.”