Indian, Russian navies to hold joint manoeuvres in January

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Moscow, Nov 20 (UNI) The Indian and Russian navies will conduct joint exercises in the Indian Ocean in January, the spokesman for Russia's Pacific Fleet Capt Roman Martov said today.

''A task force from the Pacific Fleet, led by the Varyag missile cruiser, will leave Vladivostok in December and set sail for the Indian Ocean to participate in joint manoeuvres with the Indian navy,'' Capt Martov said.

The joint naval exercises would be held under INDRA-2009, a biennial Russian-Indian manoeuvre, aimed at practicing cooperative engagement to enforce maritime law and counter piracy, terrorism, and drug smuggling.

It would be the fourth such exercise since 2003.

Capt Matrov said the task force would also conduct joint exercises with a task force from Russia's Northern Fleet, led by the Pyotr Veliky nuclear-powered missile cruiser, which would arrive in the Indian Ocean after joint exercises with the Venezuelan Navy in late November.

''Following the exercises, the Russian warships will pay friendly visits to several ports in India and China,'' RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

Capt Martov also said Russian warships from the fleet would make several long-range training sorties in the South Pacific and Indian oceans in 2009 and participate in a number of exercises involving live-firing exercises.

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