Pakistan to hold joint naval naval drills with NATO and Russia

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Pakistan to hold joint naval naval drills with NATO and Russia

MOSCOW – Russian will take part in a joint navy exercise AMAN-2021, which will be hosted by Pakistan, with NATO members for first time in a decade, the country's Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

The biannual naval exercise is scheduled to take place off Karachi, Pakistan’s port city, between February 11-16, 2021.

The Russian Black Sea Fleet will participate in the drills while 30 countries including China US, UK, China, Japan, Turkey, Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia have confirmed their participation.

Out of 30 countries, about 10 will dispatch naval vessels while the rest will send in official observers.

The last time Russian and NATO naval forces together joined a navy exercise at the Bold Monarch 2011 off the coast of Spain.

For the drills, which focus on fighting piracy and otherwise ensuring unimpeded navigation, a frigate, a patrol boat, a support vessel, as well as a marine unit and naval helicopter attached to the fleet will be sent by Russia.

Pakistan has been hosting AMAN drills biannually since 2007. It is a rare naval event which brings together countries that have no friendly ties.