Minsk arms exhibition shows growing military cooperation between Russia, Belarus: official 2005-05-17 23:40:02

MOSCOW, May 17 (Xinhuanet) -- An international exhibition of weapons and military hardware opened in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Tuesday, which a Russian official said showed a "growing military cooperation" between the two countries, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.

"The exhibition shows the growing Russian-Belarusian military-technical cooperation," Vladimir Paleshchuk, deputy director of the Russian federal service for military-technical cooperation, was quoted as saying.

The main sections of the arms show, the third of its kind in Minsk, are armored vehicles, missile and artillery systems, small arms, short- and medium-range air defense systems, as well as anti-aircraft missiles.

About 120 companies from the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and non-CIS states are participating in the exhibition, said the report.

The exhibition, which will end on Friday, focused on Russian producers, and Russian-Belarusian joint ventures' products are also presented broadly at the event, Itar-Tass said.

Two large war industry groups established by Russian and Belarusian enterprises are operating successfully now, the report said.

Military specialists said the groups are making efforts to reduce expenses for the invention of new military hardware and upgrade existing equipment, which will significantly increase the export potential of Belarus and Russia on the world weapons market.Enditem