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MOSCOW, January 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Defense ministries of 20 countries have accepted Russia’s invitation to compete in the World Championship of Tank Biathlon, which is scheduled to be held outside Moscow this summer, a high-ranking Russian military official said on Thursday.
“We already have 15 participating countries, which are ready to take part in the competition if Russia provides them with tanks,” Buvaltsev said, adding that five countries agreed to take part in the championship using their own tanks.
The official added that the final roster of the participating countries in the international tank biathlon will be announced in February.
Ukraine, Greece, the Czech Republic, Italy and China are bringing their own tanks for the championship. According to the ministry, Ukrainian and Chinese tanks will be transported by railway and an estimated cost of the two-way transportation stands at over 4.3 million rubles (over $121,400).
The tank biathlon, which is analogous with the Olympic discipline, was invented by the Russian military and the first international competition was held last August in the Moscow suburb of Alabino with the participating crews from Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.
According to the rules of the tank biathlon, crews must navigate a distance of 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) evading various obstacles, crossing rivers and bridges and shoot at set of targets. Tanks, which miss a target, get a penalty lap.