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Minister hopes Russia-Tanzania military ties to resume after 20-year break

July 02, 2013, 15:07 UTC+3

Sergei Shoigu held negotiations with Tanzanian Defense Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha

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MOSCOW, July 2 (Itar-Tass) - Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu expressed hope on Tuesday that his talks with the Tanzanian counterpart will help to restore military-technical cooperation between the two countries stopped over 20 years ago.

“I hope our talks will give an additional impetus to large-format Russian-Tanzanian partnership in the military sphere,” Shoigu said after talks with Tanzanian Defense Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha. He noted that the history of these relations is 40 years long, and at the present moment a big part of Tanzania’s armed forces is equipped with Soviet military hardware.

The Tanzanian minister for his part said he was happy to visit great Russia and also expressed confidence that this visit will help strengthen friendship between the two states.

A Russian Defense Ministry source said military cooperation of Tanzania and the then Soviet Union actively developed between 1964 and 1991, but then military relations were stopped. Almost 1,300 Tanzanian military underwent military training in the Soviet Union, and over 1,000 Soviet military were trained in that African country.

According to the source, in the 1980s the USSR created an air defense system of Tanzania. Air defense systems Pechora-M, MiG-21 aircraft,T-55 tanks, armored vehicles and other hardware were supplied to Tanzania.

“All in all weapons worth about 500 million dollars were supplied,” he said.

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