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Russia-led grouping to build new air defence network

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Session of the Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation with Foreign States underway in Moscow

MOSCOW, (BNS)  Russia and its close allies are planning to build a new generation integrated air defence network, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

Addressing a meeting of the Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation on Tuesday, the Russian leader said his country was planning to expand military-technical cooperation with members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), adding among the key aspect of the effort would be an integrated air defence network for CSTO.

"New opportunities are opening through our contacts with CSTO member states, primarily in work to form a joint air defence network and a regional command, control and communications network. For us, this is probably one of the central aspects of cooperation," Medvedev said.

CSTO is a Russia-led security grouping consisting of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Georgia had withdrawn from the grouping after the recent military conflict in August.

Some 10 former Soviet Union states have their own integrated air defence system, which continues to be operational. It was started in 1995, and has seven air defence brigades, 46 units of S-200 and S-300 air defence missile systems, and 23 fighter units comprising MiG-29s, MiG-31s and Su-27s. Besides it also has 22 electronic support units and two detachments of electronic warfare systems.

Medvedev said Russia must enhance their cooperation with the CSTO members for developing newer military technologies. "I think that we must collaborate with our closest partners in this regard . I have already talked about this with CSTO member states. In addition, we must lay down a full-fledged basis for cooperative programmes, including in the medium-term. In the future we need to transfer to a similar cooperative regime with other states as well."

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