Russia China and Pakistan strategic Military bloc emerges
Russian and Chinese armed forces have started joint military exercises in southern Russia alongside troops from Armenia, Belarus, Iran, Myanmar and Pakistan. Neighbouring Ukraine is flexing its military muscle as well – together with the US. ADVERTISING
The “Caucasus 2020” drills deploy wheeled vehicles and light weaponry to be flown to out by China’s latest transport aircraft.
In a massive display with hundreds of tanks, armoured personnel carriers, fighter jets and a flotilla of warships, the exercises will continue until 26 September and focus on defensive tactics, encirclement and battlefield control and command, according to a statement link by the Russian Defence Ministry.
Some 80,000 troops are expected to be involved in the manoeuvres. But Moscow says that the number of frontline soldiers does not exceed 13,000, so it is not obliged to invite observers from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE link) as stipulated by the 2011 cornerstone Vienna Document link that defined the scope of military exercises on European soil.
The action takes place in Russia’s Southern Military District and in the Black- and Caspian seas, where warships of Iran’s navy will take part. [image: The ten countries that have the highest military expenditure, as measured by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri)] The ten countries that have the highest military expenditure, as measured by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) © Sipri
Some 1,000 troops from China, Armenia, Belarus, Myanmar and Pakistan are taking part in the exercises as well.
The exercises have special meaning for China-Russia ties “at this important moment when the whole world is fighting the pandemic,” according to Russia’s Defence Ministry.
Since establishing a “comprehensive strategic partnership" two decades ago, China and Russia have cooperated increasingly link closely on military matters and diplomacy, largely to counter US influence. Their armies regularly hold joint exercises and they support each other at the United Nations over issues including Syria and North Korea.