Jean-Yves Le Drian's comments came days after President Hollande said France would postpone handover of first ship because of Ukraine crisis.
France’s far-right Front National party has sought a loan of 40 million euros from Russian contacts, according to information obtained by Mediapart. After the party’s leader Marine Le Pen last weekend confirmed it had been lent 9 million euros from a Moscow bank, a senior party official has told Mediapart that this was a “first instalment” and that another 31 million euros “will follow”, a claim refuted by Le Pen. Meanwhile, Russian media reports have speculated that the Russian bank deal could not have been reached without approval by the Kremlin. Marine Turchi reports.
France’s far-right Front National party has obtained a loan of 9 million euros from a Russian bank. The loan, from the First Czech Russian Bank, was obtained after lengthy lobbying of the Russian authorities by party leader Marine Le Pen and other party officers who have been welcomed in Moscow by senior politicians close to President Vladimir Putin. Marine Turchi reports on the development of the surprisingly close relations knotted between the Front National and Russia's leading officials before the loan was agreed, the precise origins of which remain unclear.
Media reports said the sailors were blocked from training on the helicopter carrier in Saint-Nazaire amid a diplomatic row over its delivery.
France has hinted that Ukraine crisis will delay delivery due this month to Russia of the first of two French-built Mistral helicopter carriers.
The denial followed a senior Russian defence official's claim that France had sent invitations for a handover of the helicopter carrier next month.
Actor who quit France for Russia after a tax row with authorities says his native country is simply 'not interesting anymore'.
France says conditions are 'not right' for delivery of first of two Mistral navy assault ships, blaming Moscow's recent actions in Ukraine.
Speaking before a meeting of EU heads of state, President François Hollande said 'decisions must be made' to halt escalation in Ukraine crisis.
A mass of grey steel, the superstructure of the French-built Vladivostok looms over Saint-Nazaire where Russian sailors receive training.
Around 400 Russian sailors are in France for training on warship that France is selling to Russia despite US concern over Ukraine crisis.
The French and German leaders spoke to their Russian counterpart by phone hours after a Ukranian army plane was shot down leaving 49 dead.
Despite calls from US and other nations to scrap or suspend deal, France will train Russian sailors later this month in how to operate new ships.
Row over sale of warships to Russia and US fine for French bank have cooled relations ahead of presidential meeting on Normandy beach.
Though US wants France to delay or scrap €1.2 billion contract, French officials say ending contact would harm Paris more than Moscow.