In a masterful display of diplomatic balancing act, India conducts joint exercises with both Russia and the United States, simultaneously, reported The Print.
Two Russian Navy destroyers from its Pacific Fleet have arrived in the Bay of Bengal, where they are currently participating in a joint exercise with the Indian Navy.
The exercise with Russia coincides with a joint exercise 'Vajra Prahar' between Indian Army with the US Army Special Forces at Umroi in Meghalaya.
“The purpose of the exercise is to comprehensively develop and strengthen naval cooperation between Russia and India,” announced the Russian Ministry of Defence on Tuesday (21 November).
This exercise aims to enhance collaboration between the two navies to jointly counter global threats and ensure the safety of civilian shipping in the Asia-Pacific region, the Russian defence ministry further stated.
India has not officially commented on the exercise.
The joint exercise involves ships from Russia’s Pacific Fleet, including the Admiral Tributs anti-submarine destroyer.
In the second week of November, Russia conducted its first-ever joint naval exercise with Myanmar, known as the Myanmar-Russia Maritime Security Exercise (MARUMEX), which involved security cooperation with ships and aircraft.
Despite facing international sanctions due to the military junta takeover in Myanmar and Russia's war on Ukraine, both countries held air combat and live-fire drills in the Andaman Sea, to the south of Yangon.
India and Russia previously concluded the 12th edition of the biennial exercise Indra Navy in the Baltic Sea in 2021.
Regarding the joint exercise with Russia, the US expressed criticism, with White House Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stating, “The US has concerns about any country exercising with Russia while Russia wages an unprovoked, brutal war against Ukraine.”
Concurrently, the Indian Army is actively participating in the fourteenth edition of the Indo-US joint special forces exercise named Vajra Prahar at Umroi in Meghalaya.
The exercise, which commenced on 21 November, involves the American contingent represented by the first Special Forces Group (SFG) of the US Special Forces. The Indian contingent is led by Special Forces personnel from the Eastern Command.
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