Russia and China conduct naval drills in the Mediterranean—again

A naval flotilla of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has conducted a live-fire drill in the Mediterranean Sea “honing their combat skills” en route to a joint exercise with the Russian Navy in the Baltic Sea, the Chinese Ministry of Defense (MoD) said on July 12…

Following the successful completion of the drill, the ships continued their journey to the Baltic Sea, where they will participate in the annual Sino-Russian naval exercise, dubbed Joint Sea. The first phase of the exercise will take place off the Russian cities of Kaliningrad and St. Petersburg at the end of July. The second phase will occur in the Sea of Japan and Okhotsk at the end of September.

Last year during Joint Sea 2016, the PLAN and Russian Navy held an eight-day joint naval exercise in the South China Sea off the coast of China’s Guangdong province. The Chinese and Russian navies have conducted seven joint naval drills since 2005, with China first assuming the role of host for the Joint Sea exercise in 2012…

Another PLAN flotilla consisting of three warships is also currently cruising the Mediterranean Sea. The flotilla is on a “goodwill voyage” to more than 20 countries and arrived at the Italian port of Civitavecchia on July 11 for a port call.

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