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MOSCOW, June 2 (Itar-Tass) —— French President Francois Hollande can visit Russia in early 2013, Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov sai don Saturday, June 2.
“It transpired at the talks between [President] Vladimir Putin and Hollande in Paris on June 1 that Hollande has never been in Russia and an invitation was extended to him right away,” Ushakov said.
He believes that several bilateral events will take place before Hollande’s visit to Russia, including “at the end of the year at the level of heads of government”. After that Hollande will come to Moscow at the very beginning of 2013,” the aide said.
Economic cooperation between Russia and France has already kicked off several major projects, such as Nord Stream, which involves Gaz de France.
In October 2011, a Russian Soyuz carrier rocket blasted off from the Kourou Space Centre in French Guiana to orbit two European satellites for the Galilee navigation system.
Jorg Khan, a Galileo programme spokesman in Russia, told Itar-Tass that 18 satellites would be put into orbit by 2015 as part of French-Russian aerospace cooperation.
The use of Kourou will allow Soyuz rockets to carry 50 percent more payload compared to those launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
The commissioning of the new launch paid at Kourou will increase the number of launches from 10 now to 12 a year.
Another example of successful cooperation between Russia and France is the agreement to buy two Mistral helicopter-carriers to Russia under the contract signed in June.
On June 17, 2011, Russia's Rosorobonexport arms exporter and the French state shipbuilding company DCNS signed a contract for the purchased by Russia of two Mistral helicopter carriers.
The contract is estimated at 1.2 billion euros.
Russia and France have devised a joint mechanism for interaction at the level of the governments of the two countries for the implementation of the helicopter carrier project.
Russian and French shipbuilding corporations have agreed to create a consortium for building military and civilian vessels.
Ushakov also recalled that during a visit to Berlin on June 1 Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to hold the next round of interstate consultations in Kazan, Tatarstan.
“We suggested that Merkel choose the place herself and she chose Kazan. Interstate consultations will be held in October. The exact date will be coordinated via diplomatic channels,” Ushakov said.
Germany has to name the date – July 5 or 11—for President Joachim Hauck’s visit to Moscow to attend the opening ceremony for cross years of Germany in Russia and of Russia in Germany.