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    RUSSIAN AND FRENCH DEFENSE MINISTRIES ESTABLISHED VERY GOOD RELATIONS - FRENCH DEFENSE MINISTER

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    PARIS, 6 March - RIA Novosti correspondent Andrei Nizamutdinov. French Defense minister Michelle Alliot-Marie stated in an interview to RIA Novosti that Russian and French defense ministries developed "very good relations".

    She indicated that the recent working visit to France of Russian acting defense minister Sergei Ivanov became a follow-up step in a series of meetings, which took place in the last two years.

    According to Alliot-Marie, the recent visit to Russia of the chief of the French General staff also permitted to declare "cordiality of relations".

    The minister reported that "by the end of March two new working meetings were planned to be held" between representatives of the defense ministries and indicated presence of "quiet significant opportunities to deepen the relations".

    Having defined the joint Navy exercises in the Norway sea staged in 2003 as "an example worth continuation". Alliot-Marie reported that in the current year they planned to carry out exercises in the Atlantic Ocean, which provided for a visit of Russian Navy ships into Brest (a large Navy base at the extreme north-west of France).

    According to the minister, "presently they are studying and in the nearest month may draft" plans of cooperation between land and air forces.

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