Russian-Indian military exercises

Sunday, 20 August 2017 20:58

Extract from the Press briefing by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova,
Moscow, August 17, 2017
Question: This autumn, Russia will host a joint military exercise with India. Western and Indian media outlets are linking this exercise with aggravated Indian-Chinese relations in the context of the continued confrontation in the Doklam (Donglang) border area. Could you explain the Russian position on this issue?
Maria Zakharova: The Russian Federation does not hold any military exercises or any other events under cooperation projects in connection with aggravated relations between any countries with which we maintain diverse and multifaceted relations. We hold military exercises and other events under our relations with neighbours and partner states. We do so openly, and we provide the relevant information to the concerned countries. I believe that any linkage is simply inappropriate here.
We maintain wonderful relations with China, and we are expanding relations with all regional countries. To my mind, these statements and attempts to distort the situation can be perceived as a provocation to some extent. If necessary, we provide the relevant information, so as to cut off all speculation on such issues as quickly as possible.
I would also like to note that Russian-Indian military ties are an important element of the especially privileged strategic partnership between our countries. We have been holding annual bilateral military exercises since 2005, and naval exercises have been taking place since 2007.
The Indra 2017 joint exercise will take place in the Russian Federation in its Eastern Military District in October 2017. We consider it necessary to underscore that this is a routine annual event. We consider it absolutely incorrect to perceive it in the context of the current situation in Indian-Chinese relations, and I have already noted this is detail. It will be possible to get additional information about this exercise at the Defence Ministry, and I suggest that you do so.
We would like to express confidence that, as responsible members of the international community, New Delhi and Beijing will be able to find mutually acceptable ways to quickly defuse the tensions that have arisen between them.

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