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    RUSSIA-NATO: TEAMWORK OUTSTRIPS PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE, REJOICES IVANOV

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    MUNICH, February 8, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Russia-NATO partnership has far crossed the limits of programme Partnership for Peace, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defence Minister, said to a news conference in Munich. The event was summing up a 40th international security conference.

    Russia-NATO teamwork has greatly outdone what Partnership for Peace envisages, both for scope and quality. To illustrate the point, the minister mentioned last year's Franco-Russian war games, in which nuclear submarines were making underwater exercises.

    "It is wrong, and hardly can be serious, to say that Russia-NATO military partnership ought to have a higher level than now. As for Partnership for Peace, Russia engages in its events only when it finds them of practical interest to improve its soldiers' skills. Otherwise, we prefer not to waste money," remarked Mr. Ivanov.

    A reporter asked him about prospects for overseas contingents to be stationed in Russia. "We are working at a respective agreement," said the minister-and stressed that the document envisages a reciprocal arrangement, as well. "This is a two-way traffic street," he added, figuratively.

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