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Indian, Chinese troops to take part in military exercises in Russia: Chinese Defence Ministry

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Beijing, Aug 17: China said on Wednesday that its troops will take part in the Vostok-2022 military exercises in Russia to be held later this month, a drill which will also see participation of the Indian military.

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As per the annual cooperation plan between the Chinese and Russian militaries and the consensus of the two sides, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) will send some troops to Russia to participate in the military exercise in the near future, Chinese Defence Ministry said in a press release.

India, Belarus, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other countries will also participate in the drills, it said. There were no immediate comments from the Indian Army or the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi on the participation of Indian soldiers at the Vostok-2022 military exercises in Russia.

Last year, India attended Exercise ZAPAD 2021 drills in Russia in which 17 countries including China and Pakistan took part. The Vostok-2022 exercises will be held from August 30 - September 5, Russia’s state-run Tass news agency reported.

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The Vostok-2022 strategic command and staff exercise will be held under the command of the chief of Russia’s General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, at 13 training grounds of the Eastern Military District, the Tass report said.

The Russian Defence Ministry stated earlier that during the drills the participating forces would practice measures to maintain military security in the eastern region.

The Chinese Defence press release said the PLA has sent personnel to participate in this exercise, which aims to deepen pragmatic and friendly cooperation with the militaries of participating countries, enhance the level of strategic coordination of all participating parties, and enhance the ability to deal with various security threats.

The drills are unrelated to the current international and regional situation, it said, apparently referring to the Ukraine war as well as the Ladakh standoff. The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.

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    As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. So far, the two sides held 16 rounds of Corps Commander Level talks to resolve the prolonged standoff.

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