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Russian lower house to consider union state air defense accord

RIA Novosti

02:53 16/12/2009 MOSCOW, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - The State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, will consider an agreement with Belarus on the establishment of a common air defense.

The agreement on a united regional air defense for the Union State of Russia and Belarus as part of a larger united air defense for the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States was concluded in Moscow in February for five years.

It will automatically be extended for further 5-year periods should neither side notify the other of its desire to terminate it at least six months prior to the expiration date.

Ten years ago, Russia and Belarus signed an agreement to establish a union state, but the plan to create greater political, economic and social integration between the two former Soviet republics has remained largely on paper.

On December 10, at a meeting of the Union State's Supreme State Council, the two countries agreed to speed up the ratification of documents signed at the previous meeting of the council, including those on air defense.

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