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    RUSSIAN EXPERTS TO HELP FRANCE CREATE ITS SPACE MONITORING SYSTEM

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    KRASNOZNAMENSK (MOSCOW REGION), April 3, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russian experts will help France create its own space monitoring system, Commander of the Russian Space Troops Vladimir Popovkin told the Russian and French Presidents.

    Space cooperation with France is one of Russia's top priorities, Lt.-Gen. Popovkin said. He named some cooperation trends, in particular, on the Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) and creation of its European analogue Galileo.

    At first, Russian experts will help France to carry out computer modeling of forecasts of satellite movements in low orbits, Vladimir Popovkin reported.

    After that, cooperation will be extended to help France create its own space monitoring system, the commander noted.

    According to him, tests on the bilateral project Soyuz-Kourou will start in 2004. In addition, the new international satellite Sesat is under construction, he said.

    After the commander's report Russian President Vladimir Putin thanked journalists and the two leaders and experts continued their talks in private.

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