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Int’l security conference opens in Moscow

MOSCOW, April 16 — The fourth conference on international security organized by the Russian defence ministry opens in the Russian capital city on Thursday. The forum is expected to be the most representative one in its entire history, despite NATO’s refusal to come.

Who Is to Take Part

The Russian defence ministry has invited representatives from about 80 world nations, including all NATO member states and NATO leaders. The ministry has said it more than once it would be glad to see Western colleagues in Moscow. But the majority of defence ministers of the NATO countries and top commanders said they would not come. The only NATO country to be represented by the defence minister is Greece.

Nonetheless, the conference has brought together more than a dozen of defence ministers from various countries, primarily Asian – China, North Korea, Indonesia, Iran and Pakistan in particular. Russia’s allies from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will be represented by top military officials. Unlike previous forums, this year’s one will see defence ministers from all CSTO member states, but for Tajikistan, which will be represented by a deputy defence minister.

Ukraine has not been invited. Moscow "has decided to give the Ukrainian colleague some peace of mind to save their emotions from being wasted," said Anatoly Antonov, a Russian Deputy Defence Minister.What Is to Be Discussed

A key topic of the forum is Global Security: Challenges and Prospects. Thus, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov plan to speak about basic threats to global security and possible areas of international cooperation to repel these threats.

The first panel discussion to be moderated by Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov will focus on terrorist threats. "I would put it candidly, we will speak about the Islamic State," Sergei Koshelev, the chief of the ministry’s international military cooperation department, said earlier.

He said the top-ranking military officers would try to analyze the causes that had triggered international terrorism, its impacts and joint counteractions.

Another panel session to be led by Russian academician Alexei Arbatov will be dedicated to international legal mechanisms in the area of security and their role in maintaining stability.

Well-known Thoughts

Yuri Baluyevsky, Russia’s former Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said "well-known thoughts about notorious developments" will be once again expressed at the conference. "I won’t anticipate the results [of the conference], but I think all the reports will be of the so-called classical type," he told TASS.

He noted that it was not very right to speak about anti-terrorism efforts in the current situation, but it was useful anyway. In his words, the topic of Ukraine was bound to be raised "between the lines" during the conference.

At the same time, he admitted it wouldn’t be possible to tackle all aspects of global security without NATO’s chiefs of staff.

Yevgeny Buzhinsky, a former chief of the Russian defence ministry’s international law department, said the conference was to be a very representative one. "Whereas the Europeans and the American completely boycotted the conference, this year, as far as I know, ‘the house is full.’ More to it, the organizers even had to stop receiving applications for participation, since there are more applications than places," he told TASS.(PNA/TASS)


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