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Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Exercise

BDJ Report

Russian Army is going to conduct a joint military exercise with Pakistan Army for the first time in history this year. According to Russian TAAS news agency, the Russian Army's Commander-in-Chief Oleg Salyukov on 23 January announced that Russian ground forces will hold its first ever mountain drill with Pakistan in the coming year. Presumably a strategic ally of India, Russia never supplied any offensive military hardware to Pakistan except transport helicopters and transport planes and never had any joint exercises at any level. If this mountain drill goes ahead then this would be the first such military exercise between the two countries.

On the other hand, after lifting its embargo on arms supplies to Pakistan in June 2014, Russia signed a bilateral defense cooperation agreement with Pakistan to strengthen military-to-military relations in November 2014. Later in August 2015, Russia has sealed a deal last year to supply with Mi-35 (Hind E) Attack Helicopters to Pak Army and there is a big possibility of SU-35 multirole fighter jets deal in the coming days. Russia also offered to provide counter terrorism training to Pakistani forces.In the meantime, a detachment of Russia's Pacific Fleet called at the port of Karachi in 2015, including the Udaloy-class destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov.

TAAS in its report highlighted that the Russian Army is scheduled to hold seven international drills in 2016, including the first ever Russian-Pakistani special drills in mountainous terrain.

The Russian Army will also hold joint anti-terror command and staff exercises of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as a Russian-Vietnamese exercise.

Russian Commander- in- Chief told media that the Peace Mission-2016, the joint drills of peace-keeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization code-named Indestructible Brotherhood, the Frontier-2016 joint command and staff drills, the Indra-2016 Russian-Indian exercises and the Selenga-2016 Russian-Mongolian drills will be held.  [Source: TAAS, Dawn]

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