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    AIR DEFENCE FORCES OF RUSSIA, BELARUS CAN REACT TO NATO MOVES ADEQUATELY

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    ZHELEZNODOROZHNY, Moscow Region, April 7 (RIA Novosti). The North Western group of the air defence forces and air forces of Russia and Belarus have an adequate reply to possible NATO moves, Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Air Force Vladimir Mikhailov said Wednesday.

    "Our group in the north-west can adequately reply to possible NATO moves," he said commenting on the recent admission of the three Baltic countries to NATO and the deployment of four Belgian aircraft in Latvia. "It need not be reinforced." Mikhailov said about the Command Post Exercise (CPX) of the air defence forces ad air forces of the CIS countries held on Wednesday that as of 11:30 Moscow time they identified, tracked and "liquidated" seven conventional targets. "This is yet another proof of the reliable operation of the Joint Air Defence System of the CIS," he said.

    According to the commander, an A-50 reconnaissance aircraft is overflying Dagestan (a republic on the western shores of the Caspian Sea). "It was to work over Armenia but Georgia provided the air corridor for it too late and it was decided that the aircraft will fly over Russia," said Mikhailov. He added that the plane has been ordered to an altitude from which it can also monitor the air space over Armenia.

    The CPX involves over 80 aircraft and more than 100 air force and air defence units of the CIS countries. Vladimir Mikhailov commands the CPX from the Central Command Centre of the Russian Air Force.

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