Eesti Elu
The UK and Russia start military co-operation efforts
Rahvusvahelised uudised 29 Jul 2011 Adu RaudkiviEesti Elu
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The United Kingdom (UK) Chief of General Staff General Sir David Richards and his Russian counterpart General Nikolai Makarov have plans to expand bilateral military co-operation in order to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan.

"We had a close look at the reasons that prevented us from developing bi-lateral ties the way we wanted them to be .. and how we can bring co-operation to a new level," Makarov said.

The two met for four days last week when they confirmed plans to renew relations that had been strained between the two nations reported RIA Novosti. This is obviously in gratitude to Russia for their contribution to the Nato war effort in Afghanistan through improved supply routes for coalition forces and providing small arms and ammunition to the Afghan police. Russia has also supplied Mi-17 helicopters and crews to train Afghan pilots, national security forces and increased co-operation on counter-narcotics and border security.

"The number of Russian Armed Forces personnel will not be downsized to fewer than a million," said Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. "When the personnel strength of the armed forces stands at one million, we will not reduce any more.

This past week Russian President Dimitry Medvedev also said that the Defense Ministry can buy foreign military equipment if domestically produced gear is overpriced. In a past article it was pointed out that the new Russian Main Battle Tank cost the same price as three German Leopard Main Battle Tanks and was not any better.

The Defense Ministry relies mainly on conscription service-personnel but now recruits 180,000 contractors. By the end of 2017 Russia hopes to have 425,000 contractors.

Russia expects to have a nuclear powered aircraft carrier by 2023 to join its one conventionally powered Admiral Kuznetsov (which will be upgraded).

Germany is currently supplying Russia with brigade level soldier training, France is providing Russia with invasion ships and now United Kingdom military enhancement effort.
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