Russia, France to discuss warship purchase: Kremlin aide

19:16, May 20, 2010      

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his French counterpart Nikolas Sarkozy may hold talks on the purchase of a French Mistral-class warship by Russia at the International Economic Forum on June 17-19 in St. Petersburg, said a Russian presidential aide on Thursday.

Arkady Dvorkovich said the helicopter carrier deal “ may be touched upon” at the forum, during which the two presidents would hold bilateral talks and deliver speech respectively.

Russia negotiated the purchase of at least one such warship worth 400-500 million euros and plans to build three more vessels in partnership with France, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

So far France insisted on selling two vessels and building another two in Russia.

The agreement on the warships is due to be signed by the two countries by the end of the year.

The economic forum, among whose agenda would be labor market, immigration, education, international relations and new opportunities provided by the global crisis, has attracted this year more applicants then ever before.

Some 2,500 people reportedly will attend the forum.

In 2008 at the same forum, Medvedev mooted the idea of "turning Moscow into and international financial center, and enabling the ruble to be a regional exchange currency."

Source: Xinhua


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