MOSCOW ( Associated Press) – Russian and Chinese warships conducted joint drills in the East China Sea on Thursday, continuing a series of military drills that reflect growing defense cooperation between the two countries.
The Russian Defense Ministry said the Varyag missile cruiser, the destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov and two ships of the Russian Pacific Fleet are taking part in the exercise, which began on Wednesday. China has deployed two destroyers, a diesel submarine and other ships for the exercise.
According to the ministry, Russian and Chinese aircraft are also taking part in the week-long exercise, which will include firing drills and anti-submarine drills.
“The main objective of the exercise is to strengthen naval cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China and maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region,” the ministry said.
Military ties between Moscow and Beijing have strengthened since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.
China, which has declared “boundless” friendship with Russia, has refused to criticize Moscow’s actions, blamed the United States and NATO for prodding the Kremlin, and criticized sanctions imposed on Russia. Criticized.
Russia has in turn strongly supported China amid tensions with the US over Taiwan.
In November, Russian Air Force Tu-95 bombers and Chinese H-6K bombers conducted joint patrols over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. As part of the exercise, Russian bombers landed in China for the first time, and Chinese bombers flew to an airbase in Russia.