Russia’s Ground Forces will join the troops of Belarus, China, India, and Mongolia in military peacekeeping and anti-terror exercises in the second-half of this year, according to the of Office of President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, May 13.
The armed forces of the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) will also participate in the military peacekeeping and anti-terror exercises. The CSTO includes several former Soviet republics such as Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Russia.
“The main event during the summer training period will be a joint command post exercise with central military command offices, command post-crisis resolution, and peacekeeping drills supervised by the Ground Forces commander-in-chief,” according to the documents prepared for a meeting between Russian Pres. Putin and top military officials in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
The documents indicated that the Russia’s Ground Forces will conduct 150 tactical and specialist tactical drills as well as field and map command post exercises with different units of the Armed Forces and Specialist troops.
Russia’s Ground Forces, Air Force, Navy, Armed Forces, and Specialist troops will conduct a total of 18 inter-service drills before the end of 2015.
Russia aims to counter NATO’s anti-Russian position
Russia has been increasingly focused on strengthening its economic, military, and political relationship with major countries in Asia such as China and India since the European Union and the United States imposed sanctions due to its annexations of Crimea last year.
Russia said the planned military exercises for its Armed Forces this year partly aims to counter NATO’s anti-Russian position. The Russian government denied the accusations of the West that it is supporting the pro-Russian separatists fighting the Kiev government in Eastern Ukraine. Russia’s relationship with the West deteriorated due to the Ukraine crisis, which already resulted in the death of more than 6,100 people.
Russia plans to put four missile regiments in combat duty
During the meeting on developing the Armed Forces, Pres. Putin discussed Russia’s defense procurement program particularly about the equipment for the Strategic Nuclear Forces and the Aerospace Defense.
He said, “We all know the particular role these forces play in guaranteeing our national security, maintaining international stability, and preserving strategic parity. They must be ready to fulfill immediately the tasks their set missions entail.”
According to Pres. Putin, his government, plans to put four missile regiments on combat duty. The missile regiments will be equipped with latest weapons systems.
Russia will continue its work on developing new missile systems with enhanced capabilities that can penetrate current and future missile defense systems.
Pres. Putin emphasized that one of the top priorities of Russia was the development and modernization of its existing equipment and arms for the Ground Forces. According to him, the military showed some of its new hardware for the first time during the 70th Victory Day Parade.
“This new equipment’s tactical and technical characteristics surpass foreign analogs and it has earned quite a high praise from military specialists overall. We need to complete rapidly all of the tests and start serial production,” said Pres. Putin.
In addition, Russia is building up its orbital satellite constellation and improving its ground-based space infrastructure. The construction of turnkey radar stations in Barnaul, Yeniseysk, and Orsk is ongoing.
Furthermore, Pres. Putin said another area of work for Russia was developing combat gear for its service personnel in the battlefield. He mentioned that they had the Ratnik equipment systems.
U.S. Sec. of State John Kerry met with Pres. Putin
United States Secretary of State John Kerry held a meeting with Pres. Putin and Sergei Lavrov, the Foreign Minister of Russia.
Sec. Kerry and Minister Lavrov discussed different issues including the nuclear negotiations with Iran and cooperation for a solution to conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. They also discussed the situation in Yemen. Kerry and Lavrov also recognized the tension between Russian and the United States, and the need to improve cooperation between their countries.
On the other hand Sec. Kerry and Pres. Putin exchanged their views regarding key international issues with a special focus on Ukraine. The Russian leader provided the assessment of his government on the reasons behind the Ukraine crisis and its primary position on the matter. Pres. Putin emphasized that Russian strives for the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
Sec. Kerry and Pres. Putin also discussed the situations in the Middle East, particularly in Syria and Iran. They also talked about the nuclear program of North Korea, the coordination of efforts to fight the transnational threat of terrorism.
Sec. Kerry expressed gratitude to Pres. Putin for the significant amount, directness, and detailed explanations of Russia’s position with respect to the challenges discussed in their meeting. He said, “There is no substitute for talking directly to key decision makers, particularly during a period that is as complex and is moving as this is.” He added that Pres. Putin believed that Russia and the United States had the ability work constructively together to resolve the problem.