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France Refuses To Sell Two Warships To Russia

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

What do you do when you sell a couple of ships to a country that can't buy them? Russia had ordered two mistral helicopter carriers from France, the first of which was to be delivered last year. But Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made that awkward - hard to complain about Russian militarism then sell their military two ships. Russia has reportedly already made a down payment on the carriers, which are worth about 1.2 billion euros. Four hundred Russian sailors have already taken special training. France's president, Francois Hollande, told the BBC only that discussions are underway, and he'll make a decision soon. But what do you do with two carriers you don't want but can't sell or don't want to sell to an adversary? A former French chief military adviser says the cheapest solution is to just sink them, but why not sell them to Russia and put brioche crumbs in the sailor's bunks? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.