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SINGAPORE, June 3. /TASS/. The expansion of the ties between the Russian and Chinese Defense Ministries is a priority for Russia, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Friday at meeting with Admiral Sun Jianguo, Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff of China’s Central Military Commission.
"I want to emphasize that the expansion of ties with China between our defense ministries is our absolute priority," Antonov said. "In conditions of a volatile international situation strengthening good-neighborly relations between Russia and China is conducive to peace and stability on the Eurasian continent and beyond."
He noted that Moscow highly appreciates the intensity of the Russian-Chinese contacts. "Regular trust-based meetings between the leaders of Russia and China give the necessary dynamics to the development of bilateral partnership, including in the military sphere," he said.
Antonov went on to say that the Russian side is satisfied with the results of the recent joint naval and anti-terrorism exercises, during which Russian and Chinese servicemen "showed a high level of practical cooperation." He added that such exercises help improve combat skills and credibility of the Russian and Chinese armed forces and demonstrate the defense ministries’ readiness to effectively counter modern challenges and threats together.
He noted that "cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to find joint solutions to the most important regional security problems is becoming increasingly important." Antonov also pointed to the high efficiency of the Peace Mission command-staff anti-terrorist exercises bringing together the armed forces of the SCO member-countries. "We are getting ready for their next stage in Kyrgyzstan in September," he added.
He also invited China’s representatives to the International Army Games to be held in July and August.