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Obama concerned about France-Russia warship deal

June 5, 2014

BRUSSELS (AP) — President Barack Obama says he’s expressed concern to France about its intentions to keep building warships for Russia at the same time that Europe and the U.S. are trying to isolate Russia over the crisis in Ukraine.

Obama is speaking at a news conference hours before he’ll have dinner with French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH’ oh-LAWND’).

Obama says he recognizes the 3-year-old deal is large and important for French jobs. But he says it would have been preferable for France to pause defense deals while Russia is violating international law and the sovereignty of its neighbors.

Obama says Hollande understands his position on the issue but that France has made a difference decision. But he says that doesn’t negate cooperation between France and the U.S. on sanctions against Russia.

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