Russian police forces will hold joint anti-terrorist exercises with Indian, US, French and British forces in 2006, Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Monday.
"India has accepted our proposal to hold exercises next year, this time in Russia and in a broader format that involves several other countries, including NATO members the United States, Britain and France," Ivanov said in an interview to be published by the Izvestia newspaper Tuesday, according to the Interfax news agency.
Such joint exercises will "boost multilateral military cooperation and facilitate the formation of a single anti-terror front," the defense minister said.
"We have a common enemy -- international terrorism. Its strikes are becoming increasingly horrendous and sophisticated. The geography of terror attacks is expanding," he said.
The Russian defense chief spoke against viewing the recent Russia-China and Russia-India military exercises as plans to form a new military-political bloc in the region.
"Neither Peace Mission-2005 nor Indra-2005 posed a threat to any third countries. They did not demonstrate any plans to form a new international military-political bloc in the region either. Their main goal was to practice joint anti-terror operations," Ivanov said.