French FM in favor of selling Mistral warship to Russia
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner on Monday indicated that he is in favor of selling a Mistral warship to Russia with precautions, Xinhua reported.
"I think we should sell it with precautions. But it is not up to me to decide," Kouchner told the RTL radio.
The Inter-ministerial Commission for the Study of Exports of War Materials would make a decision on the deal, he said.
France would also have to take into consideration the possible impact of the deal on relations with Georgia, which fought a brief war with Russia last year, Kouchner said.
French Prime Minister Francois Fillon confirmed Friday that the arms deal was under examination.
The amphibious Mistral assault ship, among the most sophisticated weapons of NATO allies, can carry helicopters, tanks and troops and serve as a mobile command center.
If settled, this deal would be a record sale of sophisticated weapons from a NATO country to Russia, which will boost the deployability of Russian troops.
Russia's bid to buy the warship has made Georgia and the Baltic states nervous.