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MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) member countries should expand defense cooperation due to the troubled situation at the CIS borders, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.
"The situation at the external borders of the Commonwealth is troubled, and in this situation it is necessary to expand cooperation in the defense sphere", Shoigu said at a meeting of the defense ministers of the CIS member states.
According to him, the main threat to mankind today is posed by international terrorism. "We are faced with an important task - to prevent its spread to the CIS space", the minister said.
Shoigu said that the legal framework of the Commonwealth countries’ cooperation in the field of defense is based on the Concept of Military Cooperation of CIS Member States until 2020, approved last year. The document provides for the "strengthening of our armed forces, ensuring national and collective security, as well as the development of good-neighborly relations", the defense minister said.
The meeting, which started in Moscow on Wednesday, is attended by the delegations of the defense ministries of Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, representatives of the CIS Executive Committee and the Secretariat of the CIS Council of Defense Ministers. Earlier it was reported that the parties would discuss the progress of implementing the Concept of Military Cooperation, the draft Concept of Aerospace Defense of the CIS States, as well as a plan of the joint work in 2017. In addition, they are expected to adopt a number of decisions, including on interaction of the state secret protection services and on cooperation in the field of monitoring and assessing the radiation, chemical and biological situation.