India, China militaries likely to participate in multinational joint exercise in Russia

While India has confirmed its participation, the response of other participating countries is not yet known, added the officer.

Published: 13th August 2020 10:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th August 2020 10:41 PM   |  A+A-

Indian Army, Line of Control, LoC, Border, War

Indian army (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: While the Indian and Chinese soldiers are locked in a stand-off in Ladakh, the militaries of the two countries are likely to carry out a joint exercise in September in Russia.

An Army officer said, “Russia has sent us an invitation for a multilateral exercise Kavkaz 2020 and the invitations have been sent to China and Pakistan too.”

While India has confirmed its participation, the response of other participating countries is not yet known, added the officer.

Russia is holding a multinational exercise from 15 September to 26 September in its Astrakhan region and has invited all Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries and few other countries.

The militaries of 18 countries will partake in the exercise together. 

About the theme of the exercise, “It is based on a joint operation by friendly countries against an enemy which has taken over a part of Russia,” told the officer.

India is sending a 178-member strong tri-services contingent, 140 Army personnel, and 38 officers from the Air Force and Navy. An Army Colonel rank officer will be leading the Indian Contingent.

The 18 countries include Russia, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and the Central Asian Region countries.

The SCO is an eight-member economic and security bloc that India and Pakistan joined as full-time members back in 2017.

The founding members of this group include China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Joining the exercise in Russia will mark the beginning of international joint-exercises since the halt of training programs in view of COVID-19. 

Prior to this exercise, Indian and Chinese marching contingents had participated in the 75th anniversary of Victory Day parade in Moscow in June.

Although Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe were there they did not meet. 

Around 40,000 soldiers each of the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA has been locked in a tense standoff since the first week of May at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh.

The standoff had turned violent on June 15 in which India lost 20 soldiers. The Chinese side had acknowledged their side of the casualties but did not make the figures public.


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