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Anatoly Antonov

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation (RF) to the United States of America, RIAC Member.

Russia will work together with China to safeguard regional peace and international security, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov has said.

The direction and form of Russia-China military cooperation have been determined by the two countries' heads of state, Antonov said Friday during a joint interview with Xinhua and China Central Television (CCTV).

"The cooperation between China and Russia in the military sphere is not directed against someone," he said.

"Our interaction is aimed at strengthening the security of our countries, taking into account the international obligations of China and Russia, and the fact that both countries are permanent U.N. Security Council members," he added.

Antonov went on praising the two countries' joint military activities, including various kinds of drills, which "secure the best compatibility and mutual understanding of our armed forces."

Chinese and Russian naval forces on Thursday ended their joint military exercises in the Mediterranean. The "Joint Sea-2015" drills, involving six Russian and three Chinese ships, were staged in four phases, focusing on maritime defense, replenishment and escorting. It was the fourth since joint China-Russia sea drills began in 2012. (Xinhua/Xiong Libing)

Moreover, he said, multilateral military cooperation has improved markedly in the past three years within such frameworks as the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. Conference on Disarmament, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS, a thriving cooperation mechanism that groups the world's five leading emerging economies -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

"A more tight interaction between the military departments corresponds to the national interests of all the SCO member countries, and we expect this interaction to proceed," Antonov said.

With more and more interaction between the Russian and Chinese defense ministries every year, Antonov said, prospects for cooperation with China have become much brighter.

"There is a lot we can do together to strengthen security of China and the Russian Federation," he said when particularly mentioning the threat of terrorism in the region, which probably could spill over from the unstable Afghanistan.

The issue of fighting terrorism has been chosen as a key topic for the Fifth Moscow International Security Conference scheduled for April 27-28, Antonov said.

The anti-terror fight "requires common approaches, common understanding and common solutions," Antonov said, noting that several countries in the Asia-Pacific region are infiltrated by militants of Daesh, also known as the Islamic State or IS.

He also blamed the United States for planning to deploy elements of a missile defense system in the Asia-Pacific region, which, besides presenting a direct threat to China and Russia, has a wider implication as to undermining the global security system.

By saturating the region with warships, fighters and bombers and setting up different kinds of military bases, the United States does not contribute to strengthening regional peace and security, Antonov said.

Countries in the region should take the initiative and make joint efforts for the establishment of a new and broader security system, he noted.

Source: Xinhua

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