BEIJING, April 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia and China began joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea on Sunday, the Chinese state television reported.
Naval Interaction 2012 will have two phases and end on April 27. “Staffs and ship details will practice in Phase One, while training in designated naval areas will take place in Phase Two,” the Russian Defense Ministry told Itar-Tass. “The joint exercises aim to practice defense and provision of the security on sea routes.”
The Varyag cruiser, the Admiral Vinogradov and Marshal Shaposhnikov large anti-sub ships and the SB-522 towboat of the Russian Pacific Fleet and the Admiral Tributs and the MB-37 and Pechenga auxiliary ships of the Russian North Fleet take part in the exercises. Navy Staff Deputy Chief Rear Admiral Leonid Sukhanov is the Russian supervisor of the drill.
China is represented by two submarines and 16 warships, among them destroyers, patrol ships and a floating hospital.
Naval drills of Russia and China have been regular, with the biggest event ever held in 2005. Back then, China assigned over 60 warships and submarines and Russia about ten ships, including two submarines, for the practice.