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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin In France: Defense, Gas, Business on Agenda

PARIS — Energy and possible defense deals are at the heart of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's two-day visit to Paris that begins Thursday.

Putin will not meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is on a visit to Brazil. However, the two leaders spoke Wednesday about energy policy, according to Putin's official web site.

Putin is to dine with his French counterpart, Francois Fillon, on Thursday. French participation in Russian gas pipelines to Europe will be on the agenda, as well as possible French involvement in developing northern Russian gas fields.

The Kremlin is showing an active interest in buying a French-made amphibious assault vessel that can carry attack helicopters. The Mistral is currently on display in St. Petersburg.