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Ties Under Strain, India & China to Take Part in Multilateral War Game in Russia

For representation only: Indian Navy personnel demonstrate their skills during Navy Day celebrations in Mumbai, India, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

For representation only: Indian Navy personnel demonstrate their skills during Navy Day celebrations in Mumbai, India, December 4, 2019. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Around 150 Indian Army troops, 45 Indian Air Force personnel and a number of Navy officers will form the Indian contingent for the exercise scheduled to be held in the Astrakhan region in southern Russia from September 15 to 26, the sources said.

India will send a tri-services contingent to take part in a multilateral war game 'Kavkaz 2020' in Russia next month. China, Pakistan and a number of other member nations of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) are expected to participate in the strategic command-post exercise, official sources said.

Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in a tense standoff in eastern Ladakh for over three-and-half-months despite multiple rounds of diplomatic and military talks. The tension escalated after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley clash in which Chinese military also suffered casualties.

Around 150 Indian Army troops, 45 Indian Air Force personnel and a number of Navy officers will form the Indian contingent for the exercise scheduled to be held in the Astrakhan region in southern Russia from September 15 to 26, the sources said.

In June, a tri-services contingent from India participated at the Victory Day Parade at the iconic Red Square in Moscow to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War. A contingent from China had also attended it.

Russia has already said that India and China should resolve the border dispute through talks and that a “constructive” relationship between the two countries was important for regional stability. The SCO, seen as a counterweight to NATO, has emerged as one of the largest transregional international organisations which accounts for almost 44 per cent of the world population stretching from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. The aim of the SCO is to maintain peace, stability and security of the region. India became a member of SCO in 2017.

It will be the first major multilateral military exercise in which India is participating after the coronavirus pandemic broke out.

(With inputs from PTI)