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    RUSSIA, USA WILL COOPERATE IN THE SPHERE OF DEFENSE TECHNOLOGIES

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    OSLO, April 7 ( RIA Novosti ) - Russia and the USA are elaborating an agreement on cooperation in the sphere of defense technologies, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said.

    "In case of the agreement's practical implementation, we will receive an opportunity to produce a joint product in the military sphere," the minister pointed out.

    According to him, it will be an intergovernmental agreement, giving both parties access to each other's technologies.

    In particular, Sergei Ivanov said, they were talking about missile defense early warning systems and other land-based components where launching weapons into space was not involved.

    "The implementation of these joint projects will be financed jointly. It is not a matter of helping someone," Sergei Ivanov emphasized.

    "At this moment the document has reached the stage of consultations," the minister said.

    Sergei Ivanov also reported on the existing draft agreement on logistical support. It provides, according to the minister, for the support of US troops in third countries by Russian logistical structures, and vice versa.

    Russia's military leadership supports the US initiative for interception and inspection of ships and aircraft, suspected of carrying components of mass destruction weapons, in neutral waters and airspace.

    "The Ministry of Defense has a positive attitude to this initiative, as it corresponds to our interests," Sergei Ivanov, head of the Defense Ministry, said.

    The aforementioned initiative was launched by US President Bush last year in Krakow (Poland).

    Earlier, Ivanov reminded, Russia had had certain questions to the American side. For instance, how this initiative corresponded to international law. "By this moment many questions have been removed," the Russian minister said.

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