Russia, US to participate in India’s biggest Maritime Exercise Milan amidst Ukraine tensions

The US and Russia will be participating in India’s biggest maritime exercise Milan-2022 scheduled to begin at the end of this month.
Russia Flag (L) and US Flag (File Photo | Reuters)
Russia Flag (L) and US Flag (File Photo | Reuters)

NEW DELHI: The US and Russia will be participating in India’s biggest maritime exercise Milan-2022 scheduled to begin at the end of this month.

Sources confirmed that both Russia and the US have officially confirmed to join the exercise to be held from 26 Feb to March 4. But it's not clear yet whether the two countries will be sending their warships or will be sending their naval personnel.

The finer details are still being worked out, said the sources. “Invitations have been extended to 46 nations with participation confirmed by 35 of them.”

The response has been positive from the rest of the countries, added the sources.

MILAN Series of Multilateral Naval Exercise, made a modest beginning in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in 1995 with participation of four littoral navies of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand.

This biennial congregation of friendly navies, over the last two and a half decades, has progressively grown in magnitude with the previous edition in 2018 being attended by 17 countries.

During this period, the scope of exercise too has seen a progressive transformation. Whereas, the interactions between friendly foreign countries earlier were predominantly harbour based, the scope of the event has been progressively expanded to include exercises at sea.

“Not only Frigates and Destroyers will be participating, for the first time Anti-Submarine Warfare exercise will be taking place,” said the sources.

Earlier smaller ships used to participate.

Keeping the increasing scope, MILAN 2022 which is the eleventh edition has been scheduled for the first time at Visakhapatnam and would be held under the aegis of Eastern Naval Command.

“With the increasing participation a larger sea room was needed thus shifted to Visakhapatnam,” said sources.

The theme for MILAN 2022, titled 'Camaraderie Cohesion Collaboration', reflects this spirit.

The Harbour Phase of MILAN 2022 from 25 - 28 Feb 2022 would allow participating navies to discuss maritime subjects of common concern and share solutions.

The professional competitions and conferences planned during this phase shall build the operational tempo for the Sea Phase planned from 01-04 Mar 22.

This Phase would be utilised to consolidate upon the lessons learnt during harbour interactions and to build upon the experience of operating together at sea.

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The New Indian Express