Russian Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov, speaking at the Paris Air Show, said the location switch is the result of the apparent inability of the Severnaya Verf shipyard in St. Petersburg to complete its work on deadline.
The Severnaya Verf shipyard had been sub-contacted to build the ship's stern.
"We will have the whole stern made there [in France]," he said. "We won't take risks so as not to delay the contract."
Russia and France signed a contract for two French-built Mistral-class helicopter carriers in 2011.
The stern of the ship, the Vladivostok, will now be completed and jointed to other sections at the DCNS shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The entire ship will then be transferred to Russia where armaments, communications systems and other equipment will be installed.