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PARIS — French President Francois Hollande delayed indefinitely on Tuesday his decision on whether to deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers ordered by Russia but whose status is in limbo as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. "The president of the republic considers that the situation in the east of Ukraine still does not permit the delivery," a statement from Hollande's office said.
France has been under pressure for months from its Western allies to scrap the 1.2 billion euro ($1.58 billion) contract. Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told RIA news agency on Tuesday that Russia would not pursue claims against France over non-delivery, but expected the contract to be fulfilled.