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France to host FRUKUS 2009 international naval exercises


PARIS, May 6 (RIA Novosti) - The FRUKUS 2009 international naval exercises will be held in Brest, northwest France on June 21-27, an aide to the naval attache at the Russian embassy in France announced on Wednesday.

The annual exercises traditionally involve Russia, France, Britain and the U.S.

"The vessels will arrive in Brest on June 19, with the program starting on June 21. The active stage of the exercises will take place on June 23-26... The ships will leave the port on June 27," Alexei Lobanov said.

The French Tourville frigate and Russia's Admiral Chabanenko missile destroyer are due to take part.

Last year, the U.S. and Britain officially pulled out of the annual Russia-NATO exercise held in the Sea of Japan on August 15-23 over Russia's brief conflict with Georgia.

Previously called RUKUS, the exercises were launched in 1988 as a vehicle for dialogue between the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The exercise name was changed to FRUKUS in 2003, when France formally joined the group.

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