Russia's gold and foreign currency reserves were $83.6bn as of April 2, 2004, against $83.7bn a week earlier. The reserves dropped for a second week in a row. They have decreased by $1.2bn since March 19.
This is due to significant payments on the foreign debt and the sale of US dollars by the Central Bank of Russia on the internal market, to support the ruble. According to the Finance Ministry, foreign debt payments topped $2.5bn in March. It is difficult to estimate the Central Bank's interventions on the foreign exchange market during this period, but they also seem be significant.
France is used to terminating large-scale contracts, as that was the case of the Russian-French deal on Mistral helicopter carriers