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    FRANCE AND RUSSIA NOT LIVING UP TO THEIR ECONOMIC COLLABORATION POTENTIAL SAYS FM

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    MOSCOW, January 21, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russia is interested in expanding its economic relationship with France by increasing the mutual commodity turnover and the volume of French investments in the Russian economy, the Foreign Ministry told RIA Novosti. Representatives of the French Foreign Ministry will visit Moscow January 22-23.

    "During the negotiations between the Russian and French Foreign Ministries, which will take place within the framework of the visit, questions of bilateral cooperation, including increasing Russia and France's interaction in the aerospace sphere, will be discussed," a source at the Foreign Ministry said.

    The source noted that successful realization of a number of joint projects like the use of Russian rockets at the Kourou space center confirm the high potential for interaction in the aerospace sphere.

    Today, France is Russia's 7th largest European trade partner in terms of commodity turnover and the 6th largest in terms of volume of accumulated investments. "This does not correspond to the potential possibilities of Russian- French interaction in this direction," said high ranking Foreign Ministry officer.

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