Source AP ©

Russia to sell Greece more than 400 armored vehicles

The Greek government will open talks on buying some 420 armored vehicles from Russia.

A Defense Ministry official said senior Cabinet officials approved the start of "substantive negotiations" on the purchase, which would include talks on possible joint production of the medium-sized tanks.

The official could not say how much the deal would be worth. He was speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

State NET television said some 1.2 billion EUR(US$1.8 billion) had been budgeted for the military vehicles.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is expected to pay an official visit to Russia on Dec. 17-19.

The government also decided to send up to 12 more military instructors to Afghanistan, where 170 Greek troops are stationed.