PARIS, April 15 (Reuters) - Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said the financing by French banks of Russia's Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project would be a key topic during a meeting with French counterpart Emmanuel Macron later on Friday.
"This is the key topic we are going to discuss with Macron," Ulyukayev told journalists in Paris following a meeting with French company executives.
Ulyukayev added that there had been progress in negotiations and that he expected a financing deal to be signed with French banks this year.
Yamal LNG is trying to raise more than $10 billion in external financing, mainly from China, for the project, which is only Russia's second LNG plant.
Russia's Novatek holds 50.1 percent in the project, which aims to start producing LNG next year. Total and China's CNPC control 20 percent each, while China's Silk Road Fund bought a 9.9 percent stake last month. (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by James Regan)