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    RUSSIA'S DEFENCE MINISTER: STRUGGLE AGAINST TERRORISM BECOMES INTEGRAL PART OF RUSSIA-NATO COOPERATION

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    NORFOLK (USA), April 6, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- Russia's Minister of Defence Sergei Ivanov stated at the closing of the third international conference under the aegis of the Russia-NATO Council "Role of the Military in Anti-Terrorism Fight" that the struggle against terrorism has become an integral part of Russian-NATO military cooperation.

    "The fact is that the international terrorism - a phenomenon which is the most dangerous to world civilization - poses threats to security both of individual countries and of mankind as a whole," Mr. Ivanov said.

    In his opinion, expressed in the conference lobby, Russia and NATO have a potential for interaction in the new conditions of security, and "it is extremely unproductive to stop at what has been achieved." According to him, a common task of Russia and NATO today is to make maximally active use of the Russia-NATO Council as an effective working instrument in the new architecture of security and stability in Europe, and to more actively adapt it to the conditions of emergence of new threats and challenges to security.

    "To accomplish this task, transparency and trust both in separate fields of Russian-NATO military cooperation and in the spheres of military policy and military planning are necessary," Mr. Ivanov said.

    "Confidence is the main term, which must determine the character of relations within the antiterrorist coalition," the Russian Minister noted.

    He went on to say that ungrounded selectiveness of cooperation in some spheres always makes for emergence of mistrust and the feeling of certain concern in relations at the bilateral level.

    "In our opinion, due account for each country's national interests is a positive element of the worldwide strengthening of stability and international security. Russia is prepared to take a most active and direct part in this process," Mr. Ivanov stressed.

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