Ships of the Russian and Chinese navies began their first-ever joint exercise in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday, Associated Press reported.
Russia and China have carried out joint exercises for several years, but the maneuvers that began on Tuesday were the first in the Baltic Sea, an area with countries, among them Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, that are concerned about Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea.
The active phase of the Russian-Chinese military training, named Marine Interaction 2017, is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in various locations in the Baltic Sea. After that the Chinese ships will head to St. Petersburg.
Vessels from both countries will fire at various types of targets on the sea surface as well as in the air, performing rescue operations, and moving cargo between ships. They will also train the provision of assistance to an emergency vessel, the Russian Baltic Fleet said in a press release cited by news agency Interfax.
Three Chinese warships, including the destroyer Hefei, arrived at the Russian Baltic Fleet's main base in Baltiysk in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad on July 21.
Some observers take China's arrival in the Baltic Sea as a response to U.S. military activity in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
Editor: Dario Cavegn