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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov (left) meeting with President Vladimir Putin(file photo) 5 April 2005 -- Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov travels to Tajikistan today for talks with Tajik Defense Minister Colonel General Sherali Khayrulloev and to view military exercises involving Russian forces.

The Rubezh-2005 military exercises involve forces from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, or CSTO, comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia.

The exercises began in Tajikistan on 2 April and last until tomorrow. Taking part in the military drills are service personnel from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.

Khayrulloev told ITAR-TASS the war games will demonstrate the "preparedness of CSTO land forces for an adequate response to challenges and threats to stability in the Central Asian region."

(ITAR-TASS/RFE/RL)
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