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Russia's Defense Minister will gather in session with his German and Italian counterparts to discuss military-technological partnership built up
Sergei Ivanov, Russia's Defense Minister, will gather in session with his German and Italian counterparts to discuss military-technological partnership built up, ministerial spokesmen said to Novosti. Mr. Ivanov is starting a routine visit to Berlin, March 2. Prominent on his schedule will be an eye-to-eye conference with Peter Struck, the host country's Defense Minister. An extensive agenda envisages, in particular, taking stock of joint efforts on a Russian-German agreement for military transits to Afghanistan. Russia also intends to analyze prospects for further partnership on the MAPS aviation joint venture. The MAPS emerged twelve years ago. Establishing the company were, on the Russian side, the Moscow Aviation Production Amalgamation, which later changed its name to MIG Corporation, and Rosvooruzhenie Co., presently Rosoboronexport-principal government arms dealer. DASA Co. came as German partner. The MAPS was servicing MIG-29 fighters, of Russian design and manufacture, for the German Air Force. The joint venture was responsible for maintenance, spare parts supplies and auxiliary equipment of aircraft hulls and units. MAPS functions have drastically shrunken for today. Russia's Defense Minister finishes his visit, March 3, to go from Berlin to Florence for conference with Antonio Martino, his Italian counterpart. Among other issues, they are going to discuss drafting a bilateral submarine rescue agreement. The document is to be ready for signing within the year, a prominent Defense Ministry officer told Novosti. The Parties found the agreement necessary after last year's Russian-Italian naval games, IONIEX 2004. "If an Italian sub wrecks near Russia or its territorial waters, we shall do all we can to rescue it, and the other way round. That's what the agreement boils down to," said our informant. The agreement will envisage standardized arrangements and methods to rescue endangered crews, relevant information exchanges, and evaluation and promotion of further R&D for maritime search-and-rescue technologies and equipment. Russia also intends to discuss prospects to go on with bilateral team efforts to design and manufacture a YaK/AEM-130 new-generation aircraft
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