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France and Russia finalise warship deal

France and Russia have finalised the details of a deal for Paris to sell four powerful warships to Moscow, President Nicolas Sarkozy and his counterpart Dmitry Medvedev said Thursday.

“All talks have been completed. The contract will be signed shortly,” Medvedev told reporters after holding bilateral talks with Sarkozy ahead of the G8 summit in the northern French resort of Deauville.

“The elements of the signing have been resolved. The signature will take place within a fortnight,” Sarkozy confirmed. Neither put a figure on a deal that Russia had previously suggested would be around 1.5 billion euros.

Under the plan, two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships will be built in France and two in Russia to the French design.