Fillon in Moscow to boost trade ties


French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on a trip aimed at boosting economic and trade ties between the two countries. Fillon said the two have many things to discuss and he expected numerous contracts to be signed. 


These could most notably include a deal between French industrial group Alstom and Russian hydropower generator RusHydro to renovate dams in the Caucasus.

Other potential deals include a joint agreement between Russian state arms exporter, Rosoboronexport and France's Safran-Sagem.

Although trade between Russia and France has multiplied by four between 2000 and 2008, Fillon said it was too early to lift restrictions on travel between Russia and the European Union.

The issue of the possible sale of French Mistral-type warships to the Russian Navy seems unlikely to be resolved. The two countries announced in March that they were in exclusive negotiations on the ships which cost around 500 million euros.

But Russia later announced an international tender to buy the helicopter carriers.

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