Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov: Russian-Indian maneuvers to be antiterrorism-oriented

The Russian-Indian joint military exercises Indra-2005, the active phase of which starts on Sunday, will be clearly focused on antiterrorist aspects, said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.

"I would like to point out that these exercises, unlike those held in 2003 under the same name, are clearly antiterrorist-oriented," Ivanov said at a press conference upon arriving in Delhi on Saturday evening.

Airborne units from the two countries will be involved in such maneuvers for the first time, Ivanov said. "The Russian paratroopers will for the first time have to act in a desert area. Together with their Indian partners, they will take part in a training operation to destroy a terrorist base and free hostages," he said.

Russian and Indian naval ships will also train joint actions in preventing another vessel from transporting weapons of mass destruction, he said.

The Indian defense minister is expected to visit Moscow in November 2005 as a co-chairman of a bilateral commission for military-technical cooperation to discuss far-reaching joint projects in this area, Ivanov said. "But we will also discuss some aspects of military-technical cooperation between Russia and India during my current working visit," he said. (By Interfax).


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