Russian, US military chiefs ink pact
Updated: 2006-10-31 11:23
MOSCOW - The top Russian and US military officers signed a cooperation
agreement Monday that lays out plans for joint activities for the coming year,
Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he
and Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, his Russian counterpart, signed the document, but did
not disclose details of the proposals.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, meets the US
Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace in Moscow, Monday, October 30, 2006.
It was US Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace's first visit to Russia since being
named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year.
"I came to listen and learn about ways we can do good military-to-military
for both Russia and the United States," said Pace, who was making his first
appearance in Moscow since becoming chairman of the joint chiefs.
Baluyevsky said the Russian and US analysis of many issues was "very close"
but he and Pace would discuss "problems to which ... we must find solutions and
adopt these solutions as quickly as possible."
Pace said he had no doubt that "together we can find proper solutions."
"I am anxious for military-to-military cooperation to show through its
transparency the potential for our two nations to walk into the future hand in
hand," Pace said.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the former Cold War foes bear the
brunt of responsibility for 'supporting strategic security in the world.
"This is a unique responsibility, and other countries look to us with the
hope that we will continue to support it," Lavrov said after meeting with Pace.
Earlier, Pace lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier and called the
experience "a very poignant reminder to me of the very special relationship our
two nations have had for many years."
Russia has been highly critical of the American-led campaign in Iraq, while
the US has criticized Russia's cooperation with Iran despite that country's
alleged nuclear weapons program. Russia has also objected to US plans to deploy
missile defenses in NATO nations in Eastern Europe.