Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov and his Tajik counterpart Colonel General Sherali Khayrulloev arrived in Bishkek on 4 August to observe the closing phase of military exercises in northern Kyrgyzstan, Asia-Plus reported. The maneuvers, launched on 3 August, consist of counterinsurgency tactical training involving over 2,000 troops from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan that comprise the Collective Security Treaty Organization's (CSTO) Collective Rapid Deployment Forces.
Known as Rubezh (Frontier) 2004, this is the second stage of a broader two-day exercise that began on 2 August with a command drill in Kazakhstan. The visiting Russian, Tajik, and Kazakh defense ministers are also scheduled to meet with Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev.
Asia-Plus, August 5, 2004