Russia-NATO exercises to be held in Pacific

Several foreign countries, including some NATO members-states will participate in Russian military exercises in the Pacific Ocean in August 2003, Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov said at the press conference in Brussels following the NATO-Russia Council session.

"The NATO members-states to participate in the exercises are the U.S. and Canada as our closest neighbours in the Pacific region," the Minister said.

Ivanov disclosed a number of concrete events for 2004 that had been planned at the recent session.

"We plan to hold eight various military events - training, exercises and approbation of our operational interaction," the Minister noted. "An extensive document has been prepared and I cannot even name all of its provisions," he said.

Ivanov pointed to unanimity in approaches and opinions concerning co-operation within the Council member-countries framework, and added that another eight military events would be held on the Russian territory and another thirteen on the territories of NATO members-states.

"This number does not include bilateral Russo-British, Russo-French and Russo-German military events, which Russia holds in its own interests with the participation of foreign observers," Ivanov said.

Sergey Ivanov also reported about the military exercises in the Baltic Sea to be held in late June with observers from NATO members-states and various neutral countries participating.

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