Spain is ready to replace US and British forces in the Balkans should these be needed in Afghanistan.
The Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Josep Pique confirmed yesterday that Spain has expressed its “clear and confirmed conviction” to substitute US and British forces in the Balkans, if necessary.
Sr. Pique added that “some countries would be willing to substitute these forces”. This decision will be taken at the meeting of European Union Defence Ministers in Brussels today, to decide upon details.
Another issue to be discussed will be whether or not it will be necessary to make any changes to the planned EU Rapid Reaction Force, in the aftermath of September 11th.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru LISBON PORTUGAL
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On December 14, President Putin holds his annual Q&A session with Russian and foreign journalists. This conference is considered to be the beginning of his presidential campaign