France suspends 'most' military cooperation with Russia

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France will also offer to send four fighter jets to Baltic states to boost NATO air patrols over the region should the military alliance request them.

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France has suspended most of its military cooperation with Russia, the French defence minister said Friday, as Paris was still mulling whether to nix the sale of two Mistral warships to Moscow, reports GlobalPost.

Paris has suspended "the majority of its military cooperation with Russia" in the wake of Moscow's takeover of Crimea, Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in the Estonian capital Tallinn.

Contacts between the chiefs of staff of France and Russia have been cut and a joint military exercise between the Britain, France and Russia that had been planned for April has also been cancelled, Le Drian said.

France will offer to send four fighter jets to the Baltic states to boost NATO air patrols over the region should the military alliance request them, he added.

But so far Paris has resisted pressure to suspend the controversial Mistral deal with Moscow.

Estonian Defence Minister Urmas Reinsalu criticised the possible sale, after Friday talks with his French counterpart.

Several dozen protesters rallied against the deal in front of the French embassy in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius as Le Drain arrived for talks.

Read more of this AFP report published by GlobalPost.

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