Chinese and Russian naval forces on Thursday ended their joint military exercises in the Mediterranean, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced on its website. The drills came at a time when Moscow seeks to further strengthen coordination with its main ally.
Military officials from both sides attended a closing ceremony in the southern Russian port city of Novorossiysk, summarizing results of the 11-day naval drills launched from May 11.
“Naval forces of both countries made concerted efforts to explore new formats of joint exercises, and learn valuable experience from each other, which has made the drills a success,” said Du Jingchen, deputy commander of the Navy of the People’s Liberation Army of China.
Du added that the round of drills further enhanced the abilities of both navies to conduct joint operations.
The Philippine and Japanese navies also held their first joint naval exercise this month in waters adjacent to the disputed South China Sea. China is locked in territorial disputes with both Japan and Philippines.
Alexander Fedotenkov, deputy commander of the Russian Navy, however, reiterated on Thursday that Russia-China joint drills were not aimed at any third party.
He added that the drills, conducted far from the naval bases of the two countries, demonstrated that Russia and China are “capable of dealing with new threats and challenges at sea and safeguarding the strategic stability in every waters of world ocean”.
The “Joint Sea-2015″ drills, involving six Russian and three Chinese ships, were staged in four phases, focusing on maritime defense, replenishment and escorting.
It was the fourth since joint China-Russia sea drills began in 2012.
TBP and Agencies