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Russia, China kick off Mediterranean navel war games

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Russian Black Sea Fleet flagship, Moskva, leaving the port of Sevastopol for the joint Russia-China exercises in the Mediterranean.

Russia and China have kicked off joint war games under the name of “Sea Cooperation – 2015” in the Mediterranean Sea, Russian Defense Ministry says.

“The active phase of the exercises will be held in the Mediterranean between May 17 and 21. About 10 warships from the Russian Navy and the People’s Liberation Army Navy [of China] will be participating,” RT quoted a statement from the Defense Ministry as saying on Sunday.

The drill’s command base will be on the flagship of the Crimea-based Russian Black Sea Fleet the Moskva, a guided missile cruiser, the statement added.

The goal of joint drills “is to strengthen mutual understanding between the navies… regarding boosting stability, countering new challenges and threats at sea,” said deputy commander of the Russian Navy, vice admiral Aleksandr Fedotenkov.

The drill is not aimed at any third country or linked to the region’s political situation, said Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov.

Earlier, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced that the drills focused on live fire exercises, escort missions, at-sea replenishment, and navigation safety.

The Russian-Chinese drills are taking place at a time when NATO and its allies are carryout war games in Europe.

Currently, around 600 US and Georgian troops are taking part in the “Noble Partner” military exercise, whose objective has been announced to include training Georgian soldiers for contribution to the NATO Response Force in Georgia.


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