ATHENS, Greece: The Greek government on Wednesday gave the go-ahead for the country's military to open talks on buying some 420 armored vehicles from Russia, an official said.
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 И1.2 billion (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.