Russian Defense Minister Reports To President Putin On Cooperation With Countries Of Anti-terrorist Coalition

President Putin of Russia had a working meeting with Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov on Thursday. RIA Novosti learned from Alexei Gromov, Presidential press secretary, that Ivanov had, in particular, reported to the head of state on Russia's cooperation with the CIS countries, the USA and other member-states of the anti-terrorist coalition. Intensification of the interaction between Russia and NATO in various spheres was also discussed at the meeting. Ivanov also reported to Putin on the work of the coordination group of Russian departments that was set up on the President's instructions with a view to carrying out the steps set forth in the statement of the head of state on the situation around Afghanistan and on Russia's actions in that connection. The group includes representatives of the Defense Ministry, the Emergencies Ministry, the Federal Security Service, the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Federal Agency for Government Communications and Information of Russia. The Minister informed the President that humanitarian aid had been airlifted to the population of Afghanistan. Ivanov reported to Putin on the course of the fulfilment of the military development plan in Russia. Particular attention was paid to the financial aspect of the armed forces reform. According to the press-secretary, the president emphasized the importance of the social aspect of the reform, and the prime importance given to the construction of housing for servicemen.

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