Source Pravda.Ru

Defense Ministers of Russia, 4 Nordic countries to meet in St Petersburg

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov will discuss connection between NATO eastward expansion and the sped-up adoption of the adapted Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) with his counterparts of the four Nordic countries in St. Petersburg, a source in the Russian Defense Ministry told RIA Novosti.

"Two Nordic countries, Denmark and Norway, are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Therefore, the Russian side will use the opportunity to raise the question of the earliest inking of the adapted FCE treaty in the context of the new NATO eastward expansion of the NATO infrastructures to the east", the source said.

He also specified that the defense ministers of Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland will discuss regional security, the consolidation of trust in the military sphere and the development of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

They will also consider non-proliferation weapons of mass destruction, fight against international terrorism and ecological security in the region.

The two-day international forum will open on May 24 with a meeting of the defense ministers of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. After that, full-format talks will begin in the Konstantin Palace. The previous meeting of the Russian and Nordic Four defense ministers was took place in Visby in Sweden last May. Now the Russian side will make a report on possible ways of cooperation between Russia, the European Union and NATO within the framework of military development in the peacemaking sphere, the source said.

On Saturday night Sergei Ivanov will arrive in St. Petersburg, which is marking the 300th birthday of the naval fortress and the Baltic fleet base in Kronstadt. His meeting with the North European defense ministers will begin on Monday.

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