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Kenyan Premier Agrees to Direct-Flight Talks With Russia

June 23 (Bloomberg) -- Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he agreed in a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to begin negotiations on direct flights between the two countries.

The plan is to enable Kenya Airways Ltd. and Aeroflot to start flying the route connecting Nairobi and Moscow, Odinga said, according to a statement e-mailed from St. Petersburg. Odinga is in the Russian city for a global economic forum.

“Kenya and Russia have agreed to initiate the process of signing a bilateral air-traffic agreement,” the premier said in the statement.

The flights would help establish stronger commercial ties and spur trade in agricultural products, including the import of fertilizer into Kenya and the export of fresh-cut flowers, as well as boost tourism, Odinga said.

Executives from OAO Lukoil, Russia’s second-largest oil company, will send a delegation by the end of next month to explore energy-industry opportunities in the East African nation, Odinga said. London-based Tullow Oil Plc announced Kenya’s first oil discovery on March 26.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at  smcgregor5@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.

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