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Medvedev Looks To France To Modernize Russian Economy

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev attends a meeting with French and Russian businessmen at the MEDEF headquarters in Paris today.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today urged French investors to help modernize Russia's economy.

Medvedev, meeting business leaders on the second day of a visit to France, hailed what he called an "unprecedented" economic partnership.

On March 1, Medvedev said French investment in Russia had surpassed that of the United States for the first time.

Also on March 1, the Russian and the French presidents confirmed the launch of negotiations on the possible sale of four advanced French warships to Russia. The deal would be the first of its kind between a NATO member and Russia.

The two sides also announced several other projects, including a deal for French natural gas company GDF Suez to take a 9 percent stake in the Nord Stream pipeline project.

The project, run by Russia's Gazprom, will allow Russian gas to reach Western markets under the Baltic Sea and runs counter to efforts by the United States and other European countries to lessen Europe's dependence on Russian gas.

compiled from agency reports