The Italian Almanac

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MM Giuseppe Garibaldi

Italian News - February 12

Russia and Italy plan to conduct large-scale naval exercises, Ionex-2006, in the Ionian Sea in 2006," Russia's Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said. "A Russian-Italian plan for military cooperation allows the two countries to double the number of joint military projects," Ivanov said at a news conference aboard the Garibaldi aircraft carrier in Messina on Saturday.

"Russia is the only non-member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization participating in NATO's Active Endeavor naval operations in the Mediterranean," Ivanov said. He also announced that Russia plans "to advance further in implementing the Russian-Italian project to create a YAK-130 training- combat aircraft.

"Our cooperation has good prospects in ship-building, in creating communications systems and in space," the Russian defense minister said. Ivanov announced that his talks with Italian Defense Minister Antonio Martino addressed military cooperation, arms trade and also Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran's nuclear dossier and ways to settle the situation in the Middle East.