The relation between Russia and China is important for maintaining regional and international stability, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. He said both the countries were working on forming a “cooperation model in the 21st century.”

The Russian foreign minister wrote an article called “Lessons of History and New Milestones," which was published Sunday on Chinese daily Renmin Ribao and Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Lavrov’s appreciation of the relation between both the countries comes as Russia and China have started the active phase of the “Joint 'Joint Sea 2015 II” exercises in the Sea of Japan. The exercises involve 22 vessels, 40 armored vehicles, 20 aircraft and 500 marines from both the countries.

Russia Today reported this was the first time China took part in “war games” in the Sea of Japan. It added the relation between China and Japan became tense after China had started constructing oil and gas installations in the East China Sea.

Four countries share the Sea of Japan borders: Russia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan. Russia and China said that the exercises were not meant to be directed against any country.

"Russia and China adhere to equal or close approaches on key modern problems, consistently stand for forming a new polycentric world order with reliance on international law, respect to self-identity of different peoples, their right to choose independently the way of development," TASS quoted Lavrov. "We are resolute opponents of imposing one’s will on sovereign countries, including by military means, of unilateral sanctions pressure, and in general of employing the practice of ‘double standards’."

According to Lavrov, there is “sincere friendship and sympathy” between China and Russia, which share “deep mutual respect and trust" between each other. He reminded that thousands of Soviet soldiers had died for China’s independence, while the remains of Soviet soldiers had been found during a Russia-China joint search expedition in the Heilongjiang province.