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    NORFOLK, USA, April 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - NATO's participation in anti-terrorism fight is not sufficient, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said in a conversation with journalists, who attended the 3rd international conference under the Russia-NATO Council's auspices "Role of the Military in Anti-Terrorist Fight".

    "We are holding this conference under the auspices of the Russia-NATO Council. Thus, a quite legitimate question is: what is the specific function of the North-Atlantic Alliance in anti-terrorist fight? I must admit I have not heard a clear answer to this question," Mr. Ivanov said.

    "It is well known what role Russia is playing in this fight," he pointed out. The country has eradicated a hotspot of international terrorism in Chechnya and ensured real conditions for peace settlement and building of a civil society in the republic, the minister said.

    "It is Russia that ensures security of the northern flank of the anti-terrorist coalition in Afghanistan," he emphasized.

    He admitted that the efforts of the USA and their allies in anti-terrorist fight were evident, though the tactical disagreements between the US and Russia remained.

    "But as to the NATO on the whole, it seems that its leaders are, unfortunately, more engaged in deploying military bases and combat planes as close to the Russian borders as possible," Mr. Ivanov said.

    "I can ask directly what the alliance's expansion in Central Europe and in the Baltic states has to do with fight against international terrorism. And I can answer myself: it has none," he underlined.

    According to Mr. Ivanov, it is necessary to fight not only terrorism as it is, but also extremism as nourishing grounds for terrorism. "And to do this we need to decisively abolish the principle of double standards which is still popular in the world politics," the Russian minister concluded.

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