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    MOSCOW AGAINST US INITIATIVE OF ARMED GUARDS FLYING ON CIVILIAN PLANES

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    MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti). The Russian Ministry of transport has protested against the US initiative of obligatory of armed guards' presence on civilian planes, deputy minister Gennady Moshkov told journalists today.

    He said the USA plans to make a relevant amendment to the ICAO civil aviation security regulations. "Our aviation security department has drafted a note to the USA, expressing our disagreement" with the suggested amendment, said Moshkov. According to him, the US-proposed amendment will be discussed at the forthcoming ICAO sessions and only the USA ad Canada are upholding it so far, while all other members are unquestionably against it.

    Explaining the ministry's stand, Moshkov said that in the 1970s armed guards accompanied civilian flights in the Soviet Union, with extremely negative results. For example, an armed guard used his gun during the hijacking of a Tu-104 plane and hit the terrorists' bomb, which provoked the crash.

    "The presence of armed guards on civilian flights can have more negative results than positive ones," said Moshkov. A person with a gun can become the object of terrorists' attention, as the terrorists may try to take his gun.

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