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    PRESIDENT PUTIN: RUSSIA HAS NO AGGRESSIVE GOALS OR IMPERIAL AMBITIONS

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    MOSCOW, February 22, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Russia does not and cannot have aggressive goals or imperial ambitions, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced at a ceremony in the Kremlin devoted to the Day of Fatherland's Defenders, which Russia celebrates on February 23rd.

    Russia "is not going to threaten anyone," he emphasized.

    At the same time, "battle-worthy Army and Navy are the key factor of national security," Putin pointed out.

    "We are strengthening and modernizing the Armed Forces, including the strategic forces for secure defense of the country," the Russian leader said. According to him, "it is the crucial condition for peaceful and creative life of our people".

    Moreover, the Russian defense potential "has been and still is part of international security", the President said.

    "Historically, we, together with other countries, have especial responsibility for global stability and security on the vast Eurasian continent," Putin underlined.

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