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    TURKISH NATIONALS MAKE THE MAJORITY OF FOREIGN MERCENARIES ACTIVE IN CHECHNYA

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    MUNICH, February 6, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - The majority of foreign mercenaries killed in Chechnya were Turkish nationals, the fact that "will hamper the development of Russian-Turkish relations," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said in Munich on Friday. Mr Ivanov has arrived in Munich for an international conference on security and defence issues.

    Terrorist groups dealing in Chechnya involve nationals of many countries. However, Turkish residents have made a lion's share of mercenaries lately, the minister told reporters.

    Mr Ivanov then reported on a Turkish mercenary who was killed in Chechnya the other day. He was carrying arms and a video tape on which he addresses militants in Turkish.

    Moscow has got accustomed to see Georgian visas in the passports of international terrorists who infiltrate Chechnya, said Mr Ivanov.

    Russia wants its relations with NATO members and other countries to develop with due heed to mutual interests, emphasized the minister. He spoke out against "double standards" and urged that cooperation should develop not barely in word but in deed.

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