Major Russian armed forces exercises to be held in June

The Russian Armed Forces will hold major exercises in June 2004, acting Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov told President Vladimir Putin.

"In June, permanent alert units will be redeployed from one Russian region to some other by Defense Ministry transport planes civilian Il-62 and Il-86 aircraft," Mr. Ivanov said at president's Monday meeting with cabinet members.

In addition, exercises within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) will be held in the Central Asian strategic sector from August to September, the acting defense minister noted.

"The central role will be given to the Russian permanent alert units and our airbase in Kant [Kyrgyzstan]," Mr. Ivanov said.

"This will be a mobile redeployment of airborne and task force units," he added.

"The Russian Navy is planning major independent and international campaigns in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea in August-September," Mr. Ivanov said.

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