Russia, Belarus discuss common defence policy

Issues related to the common defence policy of Russia and Belarus are central on the agenda of a board meeting the two countries' defence ministries are holding in Moscow Friday.

Major political events that have taken place in the two countries and the world at large could not but influence the planning and the conduct of joint operations aimed at ensuring security of both countries, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defence Minister, said as opening the meeting.

The minister described the current defence ministerial contacts as very fruit-bearing. In full swing are bilateral military construction and logistics projects, and the effort to set up the joint regional grouping, according to Sergei Ivanov.

The two countries can enjoy immediate results of their defence ministries' interaction, the Belarussian Defence Minister, Colonel General Leonid Maltsev, said on his part. Russia and Belarus are gradually stepping up military contacts doing it in a constructive way, which is in line with their armed forces' and peoples' interests, which fosters peace and stability, he said.

The meeting is expected to bring forth a document establishing a common regional air defence system of Russia and Belarus. Also dominating the meeting agenda is a series of draft programmes aimed at developing Russo-Belarussian military-technological co-operation and strengthening the Union's defence capability.