|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Russia and India To Hold Joint Exercises
On the heels of the Chinese-Russian military maneuvers held over the past week, press in India is reporting that India and Russia will hold a joint exercise called IndRo-2005 this October in Rajastan, India. The project, under discussion since Russian Defense Minster Sergei Ivanov's visit to New Delhi at the end of last year, was finalized during talks held between a high-ranking Russian military delegation and Indian officials, the week of Aug. 15. The navies, armies, and air forces of both countries will take part in what is planned to be the first of annual joint military maneuvers.
Putin Speaks on Importance of German Chancellor's Leadership
In an exclusive Aug. 24 interview with Germany's national second television channel ZDF, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: "My opinion is that Germany became a normal country long ago, but it has strengthened the sovereignty of its foreign policy under Schroeder." It was also made known that Putin and Gerhard Schroeder had a lengthy discussion over the phone, on bilateral as well as international issues, on Aug. 19. On Sept. 6, French President Jacques Chirac will meet with Schroeder in Berlin, followed by Putin on Sept. 8.
Assassination Attempt on Premier Of Ingushetia
The Premier of the Republic of Ingushetia, in Russia's North Caucasus, was the target of a bomb attack Aug. 25, which killed one of his security aides. Two explosions went off along Premier Ibragim Malsagov's customary route. The heavy armor on his vehicle saved his life, according to Russian news reports. He was hospitalized in Nazran, Ingushetia.
Aliyev: Azerbaijan Will Not Provide Bases
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said Aug. 24 that his government has no plans to allow the United States, or any other country, a military base in his country." No country will be allowed to set up a military base in Azerbaijan, as the presence of foreign military bases will do no good for the stability of the country," Aliyev was quoted by wire services. There are reports of some U.S. troops being present in Azerbaijan.
Following Uzbekistan's demand that the United States vacate the Karshi-Khanabad (K2) base there, the U.S. is also looking for another base in Central Asia. U.S. Centcom commander Gen. John Abizaid has just visited Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. Observers point out that the visit is associated with a probe for military base premises in these countries. Both countries have provided air space access to the United States.
Kazakstan Confirms H5N1 Virus in Seven Villages
Kazakstan's chief veterinarian Asylbek Kozhumuratov was quoted by Gazeta.kz news that "H5N1 was confirmed in all seven settlements where bird deaths have been noted." Kozhumuratov urged the community to "show maximum vigilance." Avian flu had already been confirmed in seven regions of Russia, from central Siberia to the Ural Mountains. Kazak authorities imposed a quarantine in the affected areas of the northeast provinces and culled poultry.