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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

TAJIKISTAN PRESIDENT AND RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER DISCUSS MILITARY COOPERATION

RIA Novosti

DUSHANBE, April 5 (RIA Novosti) - Tajikistan president Emomali Rakhmonov and Russia's defense minister Sergei Ivanov have discussed military cooperation between the two countries.

"At the meeting, Tajikistan's president gave a powerful impetus to the development of fraternal and allied relations between our countries in the military and military-technical sphere," said Sergei Ivanov to journalists Tuesday after his meeting with the Tajik president in Dushanbe.

In Sergei Ivanov's words, he reported to Emomali Rakhmonov about the readiness to the final stage of the Rubezh-2005 exercises of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB). (The ODKB unites Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia.) The final stage of the exercises will be held on April 6, 2005, on the Eshak-Maidon training range in southern Tajikistan.

"Conducting such exercises, with the participation of 100 armored vehicles, a dozen of airplanes, and more than 1,000 servicemen is a difficult task," Sergei Ivanov said.

"I can say with certainty that the exercises will be successful," he added.

In Sergei Ivanov's words, a special air support unit of the Kyrgyz Armed Forces will take part in the exercises. "I am glad that the complex processes taking place in Kyrgyzstan today have had no effect on the military constituent," he noted.

After his meeting with the president of Tajikistan, the Russian defense minister had talks with Sherali Khairullayev, his Tajik counterpart.

On April 6, Sergei Ivanov will watch the concluding stage of the Rubezh-2005 exercises.



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