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    Russian president proposes sending peacekeepers to Sudan

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    MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted a proposal Wednesday to the Federation Council, parliament's upper house, to add a Russian contingent to the United Nation's peacekeeping operation in Sudan.

    "The operation is being implemented in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1590 adopted on March 24, 2005," Putin said in his address to Federation Council Chairman Sergei Mironov.

    On September 23, the UN Security Council extended the operation for six months.

    "The UN Secretary General turned to Russia with a request to provide a contingent for the peacekeeping operation in Sudan," Putin said.

    The president said that the peacekeeping contingent was to total up to 200 soldiers. In addition, Russia is to provide four Mi-8MT (Hip) multi-purpose helicopters, ammunition, military vehicles and other necessary equipment.

    The president said the Russian contingent would be in charge of helicopter support for rapid reaction forces, the transfer of mobile air resources, evacuation operations, aerial surveillance, rescue operations and the transport of UN personnel and property.

    "The Russian contingent will be directly subordinate to the commander of the UN mission in Sudan," Putin said.

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