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Russian Defense Ministry invites NATO to take part in Moscow Security Conference

Despite suspended military cooperation, invitations have been sent to all NATO states

MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Russia’s Defense Ministry has invited NATO authorities to take part in the Sixth Moscow Conference on Global Security scheduled to be held on April 26-27, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin told reporters on Wednesday.

"We forwarded an invitation to NATO authorities, particularly to General Petr Pavel [Chairman of the NATO Military Committee]. Unfortunately, we have not received a confirmation of his participation. However, Colonel Antonio Sandri from the NATO Military Liaison Mission Moscow will represent the Alliance at the conference," Fomin said.

"The first session will be dedicated to the modern challenges to global security, particularly international terrorism," he said. "The session’s agenda will include the situation in the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan, which have been in the forefront of the war on terror," Fomin added.

"More than 700 guests are expected to attend the conference, including 500 foreign representatives," he said adding that "representatives of 78 states, particularly defense ministers from over 20 countries, have confirmed their participation."

High-ranking members of some international organizations plan to address the conference. Secretary Generals of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Deputy Secretary Generals of the United Nations and the Arab League, as well as the Vice President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), have confirmed their participation.

"Despite suspended military cooperation, invitations have been forwarded to all NATO states, the European Union members as well as NATO authorities," Fomin added. "Like in the previous years, we are ready to provide our counterparts with an opportunity to address the conference."

The general also said that during the conference, the Russian Defense Ministry would as usual try to create the best conditions for the media. "We plan to set up a press center at the conference venue. In 2016, more than 300 reporters from 24 countries covered the conference. We expect the media to take no less interest in the upcoming event," the Russian deputy defense minister said.

According to Fomin, all the information on the participants, venues, agenda and accreditation procedure will be available on a special page on the Russian Defense Ministry’s website.