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By | November 2, 2000

      Eutelsat, one of the world’s largest satellite operators, has signed a contract with the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) for the purchase of 12 transponders on a new satellite (Express AM1) that will be delivered into orbit in early 2003.

      The contract was signed at Eutelsat’s Paris headquarters in the presence of the Telecommunications Minister of the Russian Federation, Leonid Reiman, during the official visit to France by the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

      Under the agreement, signed by Eutelsat’s director general Giuliano Berretta and Boris Antoniouk, director general of the RSCC, 12 Ku-band transponders of a total of 18 on the new satellite have been bought by the European operator from its position in geostationary orbit at 40 degrees East. The satellite’s coverage in the Ku-band will enable Eutelsat to reinforce its presence in the south of Europe, North Africa, the Arab peninsula and the Indian sub-continent, where there are “exciting opportunities for developing new business”.

      Boris Antoniouk, director general of the RSCC, said, “We are extremely pleased with the signature of this contract because it is one of a very small number of examples of services in the high-tech sector being provided by Russian companies to western customers.”

      Following up these comments, Berretta said, “The agreement underlines the strong economic and industrial relationship Eutelsat enjoys with Russia that goes back to July 1994 when the Russian Federation joined the organisation.” He added that a milestone for this relationship came in April this year with the successful launch by a Proton rocket of our Sesat satellite, built by the Russian aerospace industry [led by NPO-PM], which is now in full commercial service.

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