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    NOTHING CAN PREVENT NORMANDIE-NIEMAN REGIMENT FROM VISITING FRANCE

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    MOSCOW, January 23, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin is sure that the lawsuits of the Swiss Noga company will not prevent the aircraft of the Russian Normandie-Nieman air regiment from visiting France. He spoke about it on Friday, addressing the students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

    /In mid-19s, the Noga company mounted sue in the Stockholm court to the effect that Russia should reimburse the company for the contracts which have a disputable basis to the amount of 1.5 billion dollars. In accordance with the ruling of the Stockholm and Paris courts, the Noga was empowered with the right to arrest Russian state property abroad. However, all attempts to perform this right failed. In 2003, the Paris Court of Appeal took a decision to the effect that the Noga company lost its rights to arrest Russian property in France./ Dominique de Villepin pointed out that the Normandie-Nieman regiment was a legend in France and has written a very important page in the history of relations between two nations.

    "Every time the Normandie-Nieman is mentioned, deep and sincere feelings sweep a Frenchman who understands how strong the Russo-French friendship is," he said.

    /The Normandie-Nieman air regiment was formed in the Soviet Union in the years of the Second World War. Both Soviet and French pilots served in it./ In June this year, four Su-27 from the Normandie-Nieman regiment are expected to fly to France where they are to perform several demonstration flights. Similar demonstrations are supposed to be held in Russia by a French Air Force squadron.

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