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    RUSSIA AND NATO TO HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCISES

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    BRUSSELS, March 7, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Under the aegis of the Russia-NATO Council, the first joint command-and-staff drill in theatre antimissile defence will be held on March 8 through 12 at the Colorado Springs national complex in the United States.

    The drill is to check the efficiency of the joint experimental concept of operations prepared by the Russia-NATO Council and act out operative interaction, NATO press service said.

    The on-line computer testing will be done by over 60 specialists from Russia and ten countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

    As a result of the experts' practical interaction a database for large-scope joint exercises scheduled for 2005 is to be set up.

    The arrangement of command-and-staff theatre antimissile defence exercises within the framework of the Russia-NATO Council is the first important step towards practical cooperation between the North Atlantic Alliance and Russia, NATO headquarters notes.

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