The one billion dollar, 16-deck Harmony of the Seas has left the port town of Saint-Nazaire for its maiden voyage to Britain.
Jean-Yves Le Drian's comments came days after President Hollande said France would postpone handover of first ship because of 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.
Ministers dismissed call to nationalize the shipyard but say they are committed to its survival after South Korean shareholder threatened to sell its stake.
The last remaining major French civil shipyard has won a contract of more than a billion euros to build a liner for a Miami-based cruise company.