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Kremlin Says France Returns Money For Canceled Warship Deal

The Mistral-class helicopter carriers Sevastopol (right) and Vladivostok are seen at a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire in May.

The Kremlin says France has paid compensation for a canceled contract for the delivery of two Mistral-class warships to Russia.

French President Francois Hollande's office, meanwhile, has confirmed that a deal was reached to "fully reimburse" Russia for the cancelation of the sale -- which came as part of the European response to Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and the Kremlin's support for pro-Russian separatist fighters in eastern Ukraine.

The statement said the refund would amount to all of the money Russia had already paid, but did not give that figure.

France will keep the warships.

A Kremlin statement on August 5 said Moscow now considered the dispute to be resolved.

The original 2011 deal for the two warships was worth $1.3 billion. It was meant to be the biggest arms sale ever to Russia by a NATO country.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters