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    PUTIN CONDOLES WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT OVER AIR CRASH

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    MOSCOW, January 3rd, 2003 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a telegram of condolences to French President Jacques Chirac over the crash of a passenger jet liner over the Red Sea, which claimed a lot of lives, the Kremlin press service told RIA Novosti.

    "Dear Mr. President, Russia took the news of the air crash in Egypt which killed many French citizens with deep sorrow.

    I want to express our sincere compassion to you and the entire French people and condolences to the near and dear of the victims." Over 140 people, mainly French, died in the air crash in Sharm-el-Sheikh on Saturday morning.

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