(QHA) -

A group of expatriates and local residents marched on June 1 from Kyiv's European Square to the French Embassy to protest France's impending sale of two Mistral class amphibious warships to Russia worth $1.6 billion, KyivPost reports.

Russia has indicated that it wants to base one of the warships in Sevastopol, Crimea on the peninsula that it annexed from Ukraine in April.  The first warship is scheduled for delivery in October, and the other one in 2016. 

France's European and U.S. allies have requested the sale to be cancelled to punish Russia for interference in Ukraine.

According to Bloomberg, the Mistral is a 200-meter (656-foot) ship, capable of carrying as many as 700 combat troops, 16 helicopters and 60 armored vehicles.

Some of Russia’s ex-Soviet neighbors, including Georgia and the Baltic countries, expressed concern as long ago as 2011 that the ships could be used against them.

Photo: KyivPost