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China, India to carry out week-long joint military drills with Russia from Aug 30

Indian and Chinese soldiers will take part in a week-long multi-country drill in Russia starting from Aug 30

Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in joint military exercises led by the host and including India, and other countries, China's defence ministry said on Wednesday.

China's participation in the joint exercises was "unrelated to the current international and regional situation", the ministry said in a statement.

China said on Wednesday that its troops will take part in the Vostok-2022 military exercises in Russia to be held from August 30 to September 5 along with Indian troops. Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan are the other countries that will be participating in the military drills.

“As per the annual cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian militaries and the consensus of the two sides, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will send some troops to Russia to participate in the military exercise in the near future,” China’s defence ministry said in a press release.

India had participated in Exercise ZAPAD 2021 military drills in Russia last year as well in which 17 countries including China and Pakistan took part.

The Vostok-2022 strategic command and staff exercise will be held under the command of the chief of Russia's General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, at 13 training grounds of the Eastern Military District, Russia's state-run Tass news agency reported.

The Russian Defence Ministry stated earlier that during the drills the participating forces would practice measures to maintain military security in the eastern region.

The Chinese Defence press release said the drills are unrelated to the current international and regional situation, in an apparent reference to the Ukraine war as well as the military standoff with India in Ladakh.

There have been a series of military and diplomatic talks, between India and China but Beijing has refused to withdraw its military build-up in Eastern Ladakh.

In recent months China has also started flying its military planes close to the line of actual control forcing India to respond with counter measures.

Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold "Vostok" (East) exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, even as it wages a costly war in Ukraine. It said at the time that some foreign forces would participate, without naming them.  

Russia’s defence ministry in a statement emphasised that its capacity to stage such military exercises has not been affected by its "special military operation" in Ukraine.

It said Russia had not cancelled any training activities or international cooperation, and the exercises would be supplied with all necessary personnel, weapons and equipment.

"Only a part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is involved in the special military operation in Ukraine, the number of which is quite sufficient to fulfil all the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief," the statement said.