Index

SLUG: 2-270397 Russia / U-S Defense (L-only) DATE: NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=12/12/00

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=RUSSIA / U-S DEFENSE (L-ONLY)

NUMBER=2-270397

BYLINE=EVE CONANT

DATELINE=MOSCOW

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: United States and Russian military chiefs held consultations in Moscow Tuesday to discuss security issues and military cooperation. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports the military chiefs said they did not discuss the United States objections to Russia's announcement that it will resume arms sales to Iran, but did discuss recent allegations that the Russian air force has been probing U-S defenses while on training.

TEXT: The Chairman of the U-S Joint Chiefs of Staff, Henry Shelton, visited Moscow Tuesday for talks with Russian Chief of Staff Anatoly Kvashnin. The two signed a series of annual military agreements including cooperation in the Balkans, anti-terrorism operations, and other forms of military cooperation, which had soured during the NATO war against Yugoslavia last year.

The two defense chiefs said they did not discuss the most recent thorny issue in U-S-Russia relations Russia's recent announcement that it will resume arms sales to Iran in violation of a 1995 agreement between Moscow and Washington. But, speaking through a translator, Russian General Kvashnin shrugged off U-S concern over Russian military cooperation with Iran, a country the United States accuses of sponsoring terrorism.

///ACT KVASHNIN IN RUSSIAN AND FADE UNDER TO TRANSLATION PROVIDED///

We didn't discuss this particular issue, today, but I think there shouldn't be any problems and we will work in accordance with all the agreements, which we signed.

///END ACT///

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton, however, reiterated U-S concern over arms sales to Iran, a move that has prompted the U-S to threaten trade sanctions against Russia.

///ACT SHELTON///

It is an area of concern for us, we could see it as being destabilizing in the region, but this is something that will be worked out at the political levels.

///END ACT///

The two defense chiefs said they did discuss an incident in October in which Russian fighters - according to U-S officials - flew very close to the U-S-S Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier in the Sea of Japan. General Shelton said there were no violations of international rules, but that the two sides discussed how to better handle such incidents.

///SECOND ACT SHELTON///

/// OPT /// It is their right to exercise and to practice operations in that area, there have been no violations and therefore there is not a perceived threat. Certainly in the case of the Kitty Hawk we do not perceive Russia as an adversary, and since there were no violations, it was a non-incident from an operational perspective. /// END OPT /// But on the Kitty Hawk, General Kvashnin and I discussed the rhetoric that can sometimes accompany that, that could come from either side. We don't need this type of rhetoric associated with our operations or our exercise.

///END ACT///

Regarding another international incident, Russia's air force denied U-S allegations that its nuclear-capable "Bear" bombers were planning to probe U-S defenses while on training. Russian Chief of Staff Kvashnin said as far as the northern Siberian airfields in Anadyr and Tiksi were concerned, Russia has not deployed any strategic, long-distance - or any other - bombers. He said, there is full trust on both sides. (Signed)

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