Russia begins naval drills with China, Iran

A Navy personnel stands on board the Russian military frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” docked at the port in Richards Bay on 22 February 2023. – South Africa embarked on 17 February 2023 on a 10-day joint military exercise with Russia and China. The controversial drills, dubbed “Mosi” meaning “smoke” in the local Tswana language, are taking place off the port cities of Durban and Richards Bay. (Photo by Guillem SARTORIO / AFP)

Russia said Wednesday it had started naval exercises with China and Iran in the Arabian Sea as it seeks to shore up ties with Beijing and Tehran.

The Russian defense ministry said in a statement that the trilateral exercises dubbed the “Marine Security Belt 2023” had begun in the vicinity of the Iranian port of Chabahar.

The naval part of the drills will take place on Thursday and Friday.

Russia will be represented by the Admiral Gorshkov frigate and a medium-sized tanker, the ministry said.

During the naval drills, the ships will perform “joint maneuvers and will carry out artillery firing in daytime and at night,” the statement said.

President Vladimir Putin has sought to ramp up political, economic and military ties with China and Iran after he sent troops to Ukraine a year ago, triggering multiple rounds of unprecedented Western sanctions.

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