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MOSCOW, September 6 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and NATO will conduct the Vigilant Skies 2013 counter-terrorism exercises from September 23 to September 27, director of the NATO Information Bureau in Moscow Robert Pschel said.
Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Pschel said the exercises would be conducted within an initiative on aerospace cooperation and aimed at fighting terrorism.
During the exercises, Russian and NATO units will “simulate” aircraft hijacking in airspace of one of the countries, the NATO official said, adding that both parties sought to work out a plan for joint actions.
Head of the Russia-NATO Coordination Centre Stanislav Kishenkov told Itar-Tass that the exercises would be conducted in three stages.
“NATO will be represented by Norway, Poland and Turkey. The first stage [September 23] will be simulated. The parties will check the effective work of all elements of the information exchange system. The next stages will focus on practical tasks to intercept and accompany fighters with ‘penetrators’ aboard and prevent a terrorist act,” Kishenkov said.
For example, on September 24, the Tu-134 airliner hijacked by imaginary terrorists will simulate “an aircraft renegade”, which will go to Turkey. Russia will use the Su-27 fighters while Turkey the F-16 fighters. Then the aircraft will be intercepted by Polish and Russian fighters.
The Russian and NATO coordination centres are located in Moscow and Warsaw respectively.
Kishenkov said the centre’s personnel “is fully prepared for the exercises. Equipment functions well”.