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MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. The NATO leadership and the member states of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have been invited to the Moscow security conference, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said at a press briefing for military attaches on Friday.
The sixth Moscow conference on international security will be held on April 26-27.
"Despite the suspension of military interaction, invitations to the forum have been sent out to all the countries that are members of the North Atlantic alliance and the European Union, and also to the NATO leadership," the deputy defense minister said.
"As in the previous years, we’re ready to provide a tribune for our partners for the free expression of views and an exchange of opinions on various aspects of global and regional security in the presence of more than 200 Russian and foreign journalists," he said.
The Russian Defense Ministry views the conference as a venue for the expression of positions, he noted.
"If someone holds a different point of view, let him outline it and we’ll take it into account in our further work. In a word, we count on open and interested discussions," Fomin said.
With each passing year, the Russian Defense Ministry tries to make the Moscow conference more substantive and productive, the deputy defense minister said.
"As it seems, the goal of the Moscow conference consists precisely in trying to unite the efforts of the defense ministries in the search for more effective measures to counter common challenges and threats," the deputy defense minister told the press briefing attended by more 100 foreign military attaches accredited in Moscow.
Russia’s Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev will speak on April 26 at the opening of the sixth Moscow conference on international security, the deputy defense minister said.
"The Defense Ministry of Russia is organizing a new Moscow conference on international security on April 26-27. This will be the sixth forum. Russian Defense Minister Army General Shoigu and Foreign Minister Lavrov will speak at the conference’s opening and a speech by Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Patrushev is planned," Fomin said.
Besides, Chief of Russia’s General Staff - First Deputy Defense Minister Army General Valery Gerasimov will deliver a report at one of the forum’s plenary sessions, he added.
Over 700 guests, including around 500 representatives of foreign countries, are expected to attend the Moscow Security Conference, Fomin said.
"More than 700 guests are expected to attend the conference, including 500 foreign representatives," he said. "Defense ministers and military delegations from 84 countries have been invited, as well as heads of nine international organizations and over 130 foreign security experts," Fomin elaborated.
According to the Russian deputy defense minister, 23 defense ministers including those from CIS member states, the countries of the Asian-Pacific region, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa, have accepted invitations. "All of them will have a chance to address the conference in order to clarify their views on security issues. Around 15 delegations will be headed by deputy defense ministers and chiefs of general staff," Fomin added.
He went on to say that the secretary general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the vice-president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, high-ranking officials from the United Nations, CIS, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Arab League had confirmed their participation.
"Five-year experience in arranging the conference has shown that it has been gaining increasing attention. The Moscow conference has proved to be a credible discussion platform while it is unique as it provides high-ranking defense officials and military experts from various countries with an opportunity to express their views," the deputy defense minister concluded.
Over 100 foreign military attaches, accredited in Moscow, attended the briefing.
The Moscow security conference is planned to hold four plenary sessions to discuss the most topical issues of global and regional security, the deputy defense minister said.
Specifically, the first plenary session, "Global Security: Challenges of the 21st Century," will focus on present-day challenges to global security and the threat of international terrorism. The second session, "European Security: Prospects and Trends," will discuss Russia-NATO interaction and measures to increase openness and strengthen confidence-building measures in the military sphere, the deputy defense minister said.
The third session, "Asia-Pacific Region: A Balance of Interests or Military Confrontation?" will deal with the problems of one of the most dynamically developing regions in the world.
The fourth session, "Defense Ministries’ Interaction: Regional Aspects," will discuss the methods of military cooperation, regional security and the importance of military interaction for preventing dangerous incidents, the deputy defense minister said.
"Aside from plenary sessions, four workshops are planned to discuss the struggle against terrorism and radicalism in the Middle East, information space security, the problems of anti-missile defense and the provision of security in Central Asia," Fomin said.