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Russia, China to hold joint naval drill

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Russia will send its Varyag guided missile cruiser (in picture) along with other warships for the naval drill.

BEIJING (BNS): The navies of China and Russia will carry out a joint drill in the Asian waters between April and May, according to the Chinese Defence Ministry.

The maritime drill is being conducted after a consensus was reached between the chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, Chen Bingde, and Russian military leaders, a defence ministry spokesman said last week.

The two sides are preparing for the joint exercise, which is aimed at deepening the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation.

"It's also designed to improve both countries' abilities to cope with challenges and safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large," the official said.

According to Russian news agency Ria Novosti, Russia will send four of its warships along with support vessels, fighter aircraft and helicopters to take part in the naval drill expected to take place between April 22 and 29 in the Yellow Sea.

The Russian Navy will be represented by the guided missile cruiser Varyag, and three large anti-submarine ships.

In all, more than 20 Russian and Chinese warships and support vessels will participate in the drill, the report said.

China and Russia have been conducting bilateral military drills since 2005 within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), according to the Chinese MoD.

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