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COLOMBO, November 27. /TASS/. Closer cooperation between defence ministries of the Asia-Pacific states in both bilateral and multilateral formats is seen as a way to stand up to new challenges and threats, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Thursday.
“Our partners are showing great interest to joint exercise,” he said at the first meeting of the Dialogue of Defense Ministers from South and Southeast Asian States. “This year, we held such drills with China — Joint Sea-2014 and Peace Mission-2014, with India — Indra-2014, Aviaindra-2014, Indra Navy-2014.” He reminded that in a period from March 28 to April 3, 2014, a squadron of Russian Pacific Fleet warships — the Admiral Shaposhnikov anti-submarine ship, the Alatau rescue tugboat and the Irkut tanker — had taken part in the international naval exercises Komodo-2014 in Indonesia.
“Servicemen exchange experience in fulfilling tasks in an armed conflict, drill skills in protecting major state facilities, escorting convoys, neutralizing illegal armed groups in urban conditions,” Antonov said.
A major area of cooperation, in his words, is visits by warships to partner countries’ ports. “Suffice it to remember business visits this October by the Moskva missile cruiser to the ports of Colombo and Singapore. The Marshal Shaposhnikov big anti-submarine ship visited Vietnam,” he said and thanked partners in China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar and other countries for their hospitality. “We are ready to expand such cooperation,” Antonov stressed.