World Bulletin/News Desk
Russian officials accused France of bowing to U.S. pressure by suspending delivery of the first of two Mistral helicopter carriers on Wednesday and questioned its reliability as a trade partner.
French President Francois Hollande had for months resisted pressure from Washington and other allies to scrap the 1.2 billion euro ($1.58 billion) contract to deliver two Mistral helicopter carriers.
On the eve of a NATO summit, his office said on Wednesday France would hold off on delivery of the first warship. It accused Russia of actions in Ukraine which ran "against the foundations of security in Europe".
Zakharova described France's decision over the warships as a disgrace and said it was just as well late French leader Charles de Gaulle had not witnessed it.
"France's reputation as a reliable partner that carries out its contractual obligations has been thrown into the furnace of American political ambitions," she wrote.
"If the contract is unilaterally terminated, the money will definitely be returned to the Russian side and fines and penalties will be paid," Oleg Bochkaryov, deputy chairman of the government's Military-Industrial Commission which helps oversee the defence industry, told Interfax.
"If the contract is suspended, the French side's headache will be worse than ours," he said.Last Mod: 04 Eylül 2014, 14:40