UNIFICATION OF RUSSIAN, BELARUSSIAN MILITARY POTENTIALS IS AN IMPORTANT SECURITY FACTOR IN EUROPE

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MOSCOW, October 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov considers the unification of Russian and Belarussian military potentials to be an important stabilizing factor in European security.

The work of the Russian and Belarussian Defense Ministries is based on the program of the union state formation, Mr. Ivanov said opening the joint board of the two ministries.

"Military cooperation within the framework of this program is developing successfully," he noted.

According to the minister, it is proved by active interaction between the general staffs, as well as regular boards and joint exercises. "Life in the world has much changed since the last session of the board," Sergei Ivanov stressed adding that many important events had happened.

On his part, Belarussian Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev said that "successive and constructive cooperation expansion met the interests of both countries."

Summing up 2004 results, Mr. Maltsev said that the Russian and Belarussian Defense Ministries continued active bilateral cooperation and achieved progress in planning.

Issues of military-technical cooperation and interaction between the Defense Ministries are on the board's agenda.

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