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Kremlin underlines need for military drills amid tense international situation

It was reported earlier that Chinese troops would take part in the Vostok-2018 strategic drills

OMSK, August 28. /TASS/. The expenses on the upcoming Vostok-2018 large-scale military drills are justified to maintain Russia’s defense capability amid the tense international situation, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

"The social security network and the pension system are a constant element of state policy and a very important component. But the country’s defense capability in the current international situation, which is frequently quite aggressive and unfriendly for our country, is justified, needed and has no alternative," the Kremlin spokesman told journalists, thus replying to a question about whether the spending on the Vostok-2018 large-scale strategic drills were appropriate in the current economic conditions.

The Vostok-2018 drills will be held in August-September with the involvement of the military personnel and military hardware of Russia’s Eastern and Central Military Districts and the Northern Fleet. As Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said earlier on Tuesday, the drills will be unprecedented by their scope and will involve about 300,000 troops and over 1,000 aircraft.

China’s participation in Vostok-2018 drills suggests broader interaction with Russia

China’s participation in Russia’s Vostok-2018 strategic drills suggests the two countries’ broader interaction in all the spheres, Kremlin Spokesman Peskov said.

"This speaks about the expansion of interaction of the two allies in all the spheres," Peskov said.

It was reported earlier that Chinese troops would take part in the Vostok-2018 strategic drills at the Tsugol training range in the Trans-Baikal Region in East Siberia on September 11-15.

China’s Defense Ministry noted that "the drills are aimed at strengthening Russian-Chinese strategic military cooperation in the field of jointly responding to various security threats and also maintaining peace, stability and security in the region."

China will send about 3,200 troops, over 900 pieces of various military hardware and also 30 helicopters and aircraft for the joint drills with Russia.