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Lavrov Attempts to Boost Chances in Malaysian Arms Tender

Russia is interested in adding post-sales maintenance and training to future arms contracts with Malaysia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday in an apparent attempt to gain a competitive edge in an upcoming combat jet tender.

Lavrov's offer of maintenance and training may have come in response to previous problems experienced by the Royal Malaysian Air Force in keeping its Russian-built MiG-29 fleet operational.

Malaysia has recently short-listed five manufacturers from different countries in a tender for 18 combat aircraft for delivery by 2015 to replace aging MiG-29s.

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