Russian President Vladimir Putin is pushing for greater cooperation, including military ties, between Russia and China saying it “would bring balance to the world”. Putin’s remarks came as Russian and Chinese naval warships held joint exercises in the Baltic Sea for the first time this week.
“The cooperation of Russia and the People’s Republic of China in its entirety, including the military component, is a critical element of international security and stability,” Putin said.
Taking a swipe at NATO, without naming, Putin said Russia and China “are not creating military blocs or military alliances”.
Meanwhile, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has sent reinforcements to the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania ahead of planned Russian military exercises in nearby Belarus.
“With regard to Russia-China interaction, it is a full-scale and very broad strategic partnership that includes economy, politics, military-technical cooperation, and purely military affairs. We have been regularly conducting military exercises for many years now,” Putin said on Thursday.
China’s Hefei destroyer, Yuncheng frigate and Lomahu supply vessel were involved in the Joint Sea-2017 drills with two Russian corvettes that include “artillery fire at surface and air targets”, Russia’s Tass news service reported Tuesday.