12:51 GMT +316 October 2018
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    Russia, NATO launch exercise next week - Defense Ministry-1

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    MOSCOW, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and NATO will launch a joint theater missile defense exercise next week, Russia's Defense Ministry said Saturday.

    "The main objective of the exercise is to train and improve joint planning and coordination between the commanders of the air-defense and missile defense groups of Russia and NATO," the ministry said.

    The exercise will take place in Russia October 16-25 and will be the third joint military event to be conducted under the aegis of the Russia-NATO Council.

    The first Russia-NATO military game was conducted in two phases in the Netherlands in December 2003 and in the United States in March 2004. Then Russia and the alliance carried out an exercise in the Netherlands in March 2005.

    The Defense Ministry also said General Ray Henault, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, would arrive in Moscow Sunday on a visit that would last until October 17.

    NATO's highest-ranking military officer will meet with Army General Yury Baluyevsky, chief of the General Staff of Russia's Armed Forces, to discuss military cooperation and steps to raise compatibility in joint missions, including theater missile defenses and anti-terrorism operations, and he will watch the start of the exercise, the ministry said.

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