CIS defence ministers agree on WMD, air defence system

CIS defence ministers agree on WMD, air defence system

ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow
21 May 04

Yerevan, 21 May: The defence ministers of CIS countries have supported
the initiative of the Russian Foreign Ministry to coordinate the
positions of the CIS states on the issues of non-proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction.

Russian Defence Minister Sergey Ivanov, who chaired the meeting,
said that the participants of the session “unanimously supported
the proposals to coordinate the positions of our countries on this
essential international issue”.

When summing up the meeting of ministers, Sergey Ivanov announced that
a great deal of attention was paid to the issues of the functioning
of the CIS unified air defence system. Yet another important and
effective measure for perfecting multilateral cooperation in this area,
he said, “will be the adoption of a targeted programme for ensuring
the comprehensive countering by the armed forces of the CIS of the
forces and means of an aerial attack” by a potential enemy. “Its draft
was approved today and will be sent to the council of the heads of
government of the CIS countries,” the minister noted.

According to Sergey Ivanov, the participants in the meeting took
important decisions on joint actions on operational preparations of
the armed forces of the CIS for 2005, on organizing the activities of
collective forces to maintain peace in the CIS, increasing the safety
of air force flights, creating a unified communications system and
improving cooperation on hydrometeoroligical support.

The meeting of defence ministers was attended by all CIS countries,
with the exception of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

The defence ministers were today received by Armenian President Robert
Kocharyan. As the chairman of the session, Sergey Ivanov briefed the
president on its results. He stressed that the decisions adopted
at the meeting “will facilitate the strengthening of security and
stability in the entire space of the CIS”.

Sergey Ivanov, who arrived in Yerevan on a working visit, yesterday
held talks with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisyan. “Yet
another important step has been taken on the way towards deepening the
Russian-Armenian strategic partnership, the security of our countries
and the maintenance of peace and stability in the Transcaucasus,” he
said when summing up the results of the meeting with his counterpart.