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WASHINGTON, August 10 (Itar-Tass) - U.S. representatives have accepted Russia’s invitation to be observers at the Zapad-2013 military drills, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday after consultations in the 2+2 format.
“We did invite them [U.S. representatives] to the Zapad-2013 exercises,” he said. The Russian minister expressed confidence that the U.S. military would attend these drills. “They accepted this invitation willingly,” he noted.
According to the Russian defence minister, the practice of inviting foreign representatives will be expanded. “We plan to invite at least representatives from defence attach· offices,” he said.
Shoigu stressed that inviting foreign representatives to military drills and surprise inspections was seen as a measure to build up trust between countries. “We inspect our troops not because we plan to fight with anyone but for the only reason to check the combat readiness of our troops,” he added.