Moscow Mayor To Visit France

On Wednesday morning, Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov will leave for a three-day visit to Paris. The trip's objective is to present Moscow as a candidate for hosting the world universal exhibition EXPO-2010, the Moscow City Hall reported. Upon his arrival to Paris, Luzhkov will visit the central city traffic control post and an underground parking station. In the evening, the Moscow Mayor will give a press conference at the International Press Centre and will meet officials from the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry. On Thursday, the Moscow Mayor is due to have a meeting with his French counterpart Bertrand Delanoe, to visit a quarter of newly built blocks of flats and to have negotiations with French businessmen. French President Jacques Chirac is expected to receive the Moscow Mayor later that day. On November 30, Luzhkov will attend the 130th session of the General Assembly of the International Exhibition Bureau where Moscow will be presented as a candidate for hosting the Expo-2010. Apart from Russia, China, Korea, Argentina, Mexico and Poland are competing for hosting the exhibition. Russian Economic Development and Trade Minister German Gref said at a joint press conference with Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov on Monday, that, according to preliminary estimates, the expense of holding the Expo-2010 will exceed $2 billion. Gref stressed that holding the Expo-2010 "will be a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the new Russia." Luzhkov noted that over 150 years of holding World Universal Exhibitions in various cities of the world, Russia had taken part in all large exhibitions and fairs, but it had never hosted such a large-scale event. "That's why, now there are all reasons for a decision in our favour," he believes. On Friday, the Moscow Mayor is also due to visit the Villette science and technology city and the Paris-Nord exhibition centre.