He made a number of noteworthy statements while addressing the conference. Thus, to exemplify Russia's intelligence information exchanges with the USA and other NATO countries, Mr. Ivanov said:
"We informed our partners about a special operation in the Daghestani highlands [North Caucasus], December last. A gang of 35 was exterminated then. The operation went on in adverse conditions, at a 3,000 metre height, with snow two metres deep." The international anti-terror cause demands not so much methods long-established and well-drilled in the army but unconventional tactics that ought to come to terrorists as an unpleasant surprise, pointed out the minister.
He informed the gathering about a joint Russia-NATO military exercise, scheduled for late next summer in the Kola Peninsula, Russia's extreme northwest, within the Arctic Circle. The exercise will use pioneer equipment to gauge mass destruction weapon components.
Russia and America had not differed in the slightest over Saddam Hussain's fate, stressed Mr. Ivanov.
"The Russian stance on progressing bilateral ties with the USA proceeded from the start from recognition of the anti-terror alliance as top priority. As for Iraq, whatever disputes there were concerned not the fate of brutal dictator Saddam Hussain but different attitudes to the use of force in Iraq. All that has now receded into the past. To promote, under the United Nations aegis, the establishment of an Iraqi government is our primary objective now-a government whose legitimacy a majority of the population, if not the whole, would recognise," said the minister.
"I hate to be harbinger of bad news, but I ought to say that terror acts will go on, and take a toll of civilian and GI lives," Sergei Ivanov ominously added.