The Russian navy is planning at least two joint naval training drills with neighboring ex-Soviet states, according to a new report. The drills are expected to take place by the end of the year in the Caspian Sea, says the Russia & India Report.
The drills will be conducted to eliminate any “security threats” in the Caspian, Adm. Viktor Chirkov said. The first drill will involve Russia as well as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, while the second will include Azerbaijan, the Russian navy and Russia’s Caspian Flotilla, a collection of ships that ensures trade safety, protects oil fields and does anti-terrorist work in the inland sea.
“Three Russian warships have entered Azerbaijan earlier today,” Chirkov told the Russia & India Report Thursday. “These are two small artillery ships, Makhachkala and Volgodonsk, and the hydrographic vessel Anatoly Guzhvin."
Russia also is preparing a series of military drills in the Sea of Japan from Aug. 20 to 28, to be held in conjunction with China, Defense News reported. Chinese officials said in July the drills are designed to help the two countries deal with security threats.
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Chinese authorities said surface level ships and submarines, among other vessels, will be a part of the drill, Defense News reported. About 20 warships are to take part in the joint exercise, Roman Martov, a spokesman for the Pacific Fleet, told Russia’s Tass news agency.
The two countries first convened a joint naval exercise in May in the Mediterranean Sea, which included about 18 ships, the Diplomat reported. The cooperation between the former rival communist superpowers comes amid increased tensions with Western countries over Russia's annexation of Crimea and the eastern Ukraine conflict.