France Says Dropped Mistral Sale Cost Below $1.14 Billion

The French government said the total cost of scrapping the sale of two warships to Russia was less than 1 billion euros ($1.14 billion).

“The precise figure will be disclosed to parliament, but for now I can say the cost is below 1 billion euros,” government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said Wednesday after the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris. The government plans to add the extra cost to the 2015 budget, he said.

France, which agreed with Russia to cancel the contract without penalties, is talking to other countries, including Canada, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to sell either one or both of the helicopter carriers, a government official told reporters last week, declining to give details of the talks.