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Russia completes transfer of S-300 air defense systems to Kazakhstan — defense minister

Russia has completed the project of gratuitous transfer of the S-300 air defense systems to Kazakhstan, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

"We have completed the project to transfer without charge the S-300 air defense systems to Kazakhstan, taking into consideration the fact that this is a weighty, if not main, contribution to the integrated air defense system, which, one may say, has become a reality, and now its hardware component has been built up to the expected strength," Shoigu said during a meeting with Kazakh Defense Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov.

The Russian minister noted that the transfer of the S-300 air defense system was even more relevant in the current environment, when various threats are observed near Kazakhstan's border. "From different areas of the region and around the borders of the republic," he said.

The defense ministers' council of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a loose alliance of former Soviet republics, has also approved an action plan for the next year and a plan of measures on joint air defense system.

"We have approved for 2016 a plan of work of the Defense Ministers' Council of the CIS countries and a plan of common steps on the joint air defense system," Shoigu said summing up the results of the meeting.

At the meeting, the ministers revised a cooperation plan for troops of the joint air defense system and the documents regulating the work of the coordination committee on the air defense issues at the CIS Defense Ministers' Council.

A number of bilateral meetings were also held, Shoigu said. "During the talks, we discussed a broad range of issues of cooperation in the military and military-technical spheres. The plans of bilateral cooperation of the defense ministries were signed for the next year," he said.

The participants of the meeting confirmed plans to further develop partnership based on the balance of common, regional and national interests.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 23Dec15]

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