Russia to participate in Italy-France naval exercises

PRAVDA< Russia
April 21 2004

Russia to participate in Italy-France naval exercises

Russia will send a few surface ships and submarines to the joint
exercises of the Italian and French navies due in summer 2004,
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov said to reporters during his
official visit to China.

“It is not the quantity but the quality that matters, we don’t need
an armada at the exercises,” said Mr. Ivanov.

In his words, specific plans for the exercises are being discussed.

Mr. Ivanov also said that naval manoeuvres would be held in summer
within the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (including
Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan) and
the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
China, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan). Chinese army subdivisions
will take part in the exercises too. At issue are the drills
Rubezh-2004, which will train this regional group to neutralise an
illegal armed formation infiltrating the territory of one of the

Besides, ways of thwarting drug trafficking channels from Afghanistan
to the neighbouring countries will be drilled.

For the first time, aviation from the Russian military base in Kant
(Kyrgyzstan) will participate in such exercises.