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Start of Naval Interaction 2014 exercises

May 20, 2014

Vladimir Putin and President of China Xi Jinping took part in the opening ceremony of the Russia-China Naval Interaction 2014 joint exercises at the Usun naval military base.

The Russia-China Naval Interaction 2014 joint drills will be conducted on May 20–26 in the airspace and waters of the northern part of the East China Sea. The Russian forces taking part in the exercises arrived in Shanghai on May 18. The active phase of the exercises is scheduled for May 23–24. The two countries’ naval forces will operate at sea to practice in the joint defence of anchored vessels, convoying, releasing captured vessels, and location and identification of common air defence targets. The exercises will also include naval target practice, anti-submarine actions and search and rescue operations.

The exercises involve a total of 12 vessels. The Russian navy will be represented by the Varyag missile cruiser, the Admiral Panteleyev large anti-submarine ship, the Bystry destroyer, the Admiral Nevelsky large amphibious ship, the Ilim mid-size sea tanker and Kalar sea tug. China is sending three destroyers, two patrol ships and a comprehensive supply ship to take part in the exercises. Su-30MK2 aircraft and Ka-27 helicopters will also be taking part in the joint drills to locate and identify targets, in air defence operations and naval target practice. The Russian ships will leave the port of Shanghai on May 27.

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Speech at opening ceremony of Russia-China joint naval exercises

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Xi Jinping, officers and admirals,

Today we launch the third Russian-Chinese Naval Interaction 2014 exercises. You are facing the serious and strenuous task of practicing joint actions to defend marine communications. You will be practising your combat skills, perfecting them, learning to act in full accord, in single formation, so to speak.

Combat camaraderie of this kind has long traditions. We remember that in the years of World War II our countries and our peoples were allies, together repelling the aggressor. The heroic deed of our peoples will forever serve as an example of valour patriotism and will power. We are sincerely grateful to our Chinese friends for carefully preserving the memory of the thousands of our compatriots who gave their lives for the liberation of Northeastern China.

Next year we will be marking the 70th anniversary of Victory in the great war. We will be holding celebrations dedicated to this anniversary, both at the bilateral level and within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. I am certain we will have a proper celebration of the event.

Today strong ties of partnership and strategic cooperation connect Russia and China. We cooperate in resolving urgent international problems and in maintaining peace and stability on the Eurasian continent.

We are also strengthening our ties in the military sphere. President Xi Jinping was the first foreign leader to visit the operational control centre of Russia’s Defence Ministry. We regularly hold joint naval and anti-terrorist exercises. Russian and Chinese sailors have acquired serious experience in joint action and took part in convoys accompanying vessels with chemical weapons from Syria.

I am certain that the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership will continue to grow stronger. I wish you success and all the best. Good luck!

May 20, 2014