The two-week joint venture DRUZBA 2017 begins in Mineralnye Vody, Russia
Pakistan and Russia forces launched a joint anti-terror exercise titled “DRUZBA 2017” at Mineralnye Vody, Russia.
The joint exercise ‘DRUZBA 2017’ will continue for two weeks, where Special Forces of Pakistan and Russia armies will exercise against terrorism practices.
According to Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) press release, the exercise which focuses on counter terrorism operations, hostage rescue, cordon and search operation.
The military media wing said the exercise will improve and further strengthen military ties between both countries and share Pakistan army’s experience in war against terrorism”.
The opening ceremony was attended by senior military officials of Special Forces of both countries. Pakistan and Russia are holding joint military exercises for the second time in one year.
Before, a group of hundred Russian troops had participated in joint exercises in September last year which was held in Pakistan.
Moscow and Islamabad have extended their defense and economic assistance past few years, which some analysts see as a new regional alignment following strained relations between Pakistan and the U.S, mainly on Afghanistan.
In August, Russia delivered 4 Mi-35 gunship helicopters to Pakistan under a $153 million contract when General (R) Raheel Sharif’s visit to Russia in June 2016.
According to local media reports, Pakistan has also shown keen interest in purchasing the S-400 Russian missile defense system.
In 2014, Moscow lifted a decades-long arms embargo on Islamabad, which was imposed following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
Russia has long been the largest supplier of arms to India, which is the world’s top arms buyer. But Moscow’s move to supply Islamabad came as New Delhi is seeking to modernize its armed forces’ ageing hardware and has recently chosen to buy arms from Israel, France, Britain and the United States.
Russia also threw its weight behind Pakistan after U.S President Donald Trump, while announcing his new policy for South Asia last month, accused Islamabad of providing safe havens to Afghan Taliban.