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    THIS YEAR RUSSIAN WARSHIPS TO MAKE MEDITERRANEAN AND ATLANTIC CRUISES

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    MOSCOW, March 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- In 2004 Russian warships will make cruises to the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean, Russian acting Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said following the talks with his Portuguese colleague Paulo Portas in Moscow on Tuesday.

    "We are not going to send an armada there," Sergei Ivanov continued. "If a possibility emerges, we'll call on the ports of friendly countries, such as Portugal." "Of course Portuguese ships are long-awaited visitors to our naval bases," Ivanov noted.

    The Russian acting Defence Minister also said that a forum of military physicians would be held at the Military Medical Academy in St.Petersburg in 2005. "Army representatives of many countries will be present. I have invited also representatives of Portugal to the forum," Sergei Ivanov said.

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