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Culture news, 21.01.2005 13:18

St.Petersburg University Awards Defense Ministers

St.Petersburg University Awards Defense Ministers Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and his French counterpart Michelle Alliot-Marie received honorary awards from St. Petersburg university's philology department the other day.

The French Defense Minister received a philology-department medal, which is presented to all those, who have taught at this department for 25 consecutive years or those who have made a great contribution to the department's development. For his own part, Ivanov, who had graduated from St. Petersburg university's philology department, already boasts such a medal. Consequently, he was awarded the Russkoye Slovo (Russian Word) medal instead.

The two Defense Ministers chatted with professors and students before the awards ceremony.

The French armed forces had gone professional in 1996; this enhanced their quality and mobility, the French Defense Minister said.

Both Defense Ministers visited the Tsarskoye Selo museum-preserve in the afternoon, also lunching. Russian and French delegations arrived in Moscow by evening.

Russian and French Defense Ministers are to attend a session of the joint cooperation council for security issues January 21. After that, Russian and French Defense and Foreign Ministers are to meet each other in line with the two-plus-two format during a working breakfast. They will discuss a wide range of topical international-security issues. The French delegation is to leave Moscow for Paris in the evening of January 21.

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