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  Sunday, July 21, 2019
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Russia regards Spain as an important and equal partner in bilateral relations and within the NATO framework
Russia regards Spain as an important and equal partner in bilateral relations and within the NATO framework, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said following the talks with his Spanish counterpart Jose Bono. We should develop our potential and strive for new achievements, he noted. "Democratic countries should protect themselves from the threat of terrorism, which Russia and Spain already suffered from," Mr. Bono said, on his part. According to the Spanish Defense Minister, it is necessary to establish close links in spite of geographical positions, different history and ideological vision of the world. Sergei Ivanov thanked Spain for the return of the cross from the central dome of St. Sophia's Cathedral in Veliky Novgorod. This important decision taken by the Spanish government is a vivid evidence of friendly relations, Mr. Ivanov said. After the private talks Jose Bono thanked his Russian counterpart for his sincerity. Russia and Spain understand that the threat to world's security does exist, he stressed. Terrorist fanaticism is a global threat to all countries. It has no borders and violates all laws, the Spanish minister went on. The cross from the central dome of St. Sophia's Cathedral was removed by Spanish soldiers of the Blue Division during World War II. The metallic cross having the size 2x1.5 meters is decorated with a figurine of a dove. Spanish Defense Minister Jose Bono is to hand this cross to Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow and All Russia at the Faith and Word festival of Orthodox media in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior on Tuesday. A perfect copy of this cross will remain at the military-engineering academy in Madrid's outskirts, where the original cross was kept. The Spanish Defense Ministry ordered to make this copy to commemorate the fact that Spanish servicemen saved this shrine shot down by Soviet artillery from the Bolsheviks. This was a condition ofthe cross's return to Russia
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