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10 Dec, 2020 16:16

Russian Navy to take part in Pakistan’s AMAN-2021 drills, expected to have NATO countries in attendance

Russian Navy to take part in Pakistan’s AMAN-2021 drills, expected to have NATO countries in attendance

The Russian Navy is set to participate in the upcoming AMAN-2021 drills, which is staged by Pakistan and expected to attract dozens of participants. The rare event could bring together China, Japan and some of the NATO countries.

The biannual naval exercise is scheduled to take place off Karachi between February 11-16, 2021. The drills will focus on fighting piracy and otherwise ensuring unimpeded navigation.On Thursday, Russia’s Black Sea Fleet confirmed its participation following a meeting via a video link. A frigate, a patrol boat, a support vessel, as well as a marine unit and naval helicopter attached to the fleet will be sent to join the drills.

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“Representatives of more than 30 countries confirmed their participation in the exercise, of which about 10 will dispatch naval vessels while the rest will send in official observers,” Russian military said in a statement without revealing which other guest nations will send in their ships.

Pakistan has been hosting AMAN drills biannually since 2007. It is a rare naval event in that it does not exhibit any bloc mentality, at times bringing together countries that do not exactly enjoy cozy relationships.

The drills’ organizers have repeatedly invited China, Japan and Australia, as well as some NATO member states, including the US, the UK and Turkey. Naval vessels from Russia and the US met at the exercise back in 2017 in a rare cooperative event between Moscow and NATO, which have otherwise seen their relations go in a downward spiral for the past few years.

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