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Opinion: Paris, Berlin unconstructive in suspending military co-operation with Russia

March 23, 2014, 20:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 23. /ITAR-TASS/. France and Germany have taken their decisions to suspend military co-operation with Russia following pressure from the United States and this stance cannot be constructive, the Russian Defence Ministry says.

“Notorious Atlantic solidarity was evidently behind our French and German partners’ loud statements towards Russia,” Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said in his comments on the recent statements made by Paris and Berlin.

“In outlying the prospects for further interaction, we’ll proceed from the current reality,” he said.

Speaking on the Russian-French collaboration, Antonov said that in recent years “major efforts have been applied to create a new level of confidence and co-operation in the current circumstances.” In particular, unprecedented joint military exercises took place involving the air force and paratrooper units.

“We hoped for a new impulse to enhance collaboration this year,” he said. “That’s why we are set to strictly abide by a coordinated plan of co-operation for this year if our French partners get interested in this.”

“The plan, coordinated for the year 2014, includes mutually advantageous events in diverse areas and at different levels,” Antonov said.

In recent years, the defence industry enterprises in Russia and in Germany have engaged in systematic activity towards enhancing collaboration, he said.

“Their refusal to contact and to swap military delegations brings to naught the positive tendencies worked out in the past years, including interaction around Afghanistan, the dialogue on transparency of military activity and on cooperation in defense and related technologies,” the deputy defence minister said.

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