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President Vladimir Putin met with Defence Ministers of the CIS countries

November 21, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow

Mr Putin said that the ministers were meeting shortly before the jubilee summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which was to convene in Moscow in late November.

He said that the CIS heads of state and foreign ministers did not lack the intuition and political goodwill to develop cooperation in the defence policy. The terrorist attack on the United States on September 11 caused other countries to re-appraise the order of priorities in that sphere.

He highly appreciated the recent Commonwealth Southern Shield joint command post exercise. The President called for closer coordination within the CIS Council of Defence Ministers and the Anti-Terrorist Centre, and between the CIS countries’ secret services as a next step in the fight against terrorism.

Implementing previous decisions was among the top priorities, said Mr Putin as he called on the CIS countries to comply with mutual obligations to fund the Anti-Terrorist Centre, which Russia was presently bearing the brunt of financing.

He also pointed out the necessity to further unify the regulatory framework of the military partnership, to draw up together strategies for military-technical cooperation, expand joint research and development, and improve information sharing between law-enforcement agencies.

The defence ministers had arrived in Moscow for a meeting of the CIS Council of Defence Ministers.

November 21, 2001, The Kremlin, Moscow