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India withdraws from Kavkaz-2020 international drills in Russia

Russia and India are close and privileged strategic partners, said India’s Defense Ministry spokesperson

TASS, August 30. India has decided against taking part in Kavkaz-2020 international drills scheduled for September in Russia, India’s Defense Ministry spokesperson wrote on his Twitter account.

"In view of Pandemic and consequent difficulties in exercise, including arrangements of logistics, India has decided not to send contingent this year to Kavkaz-2020. The same has been informed to the Russian side," he wrote.

Russia and India are close and privileged strategic partners, the spokesperson said.

Earlier, ANI news agency reported citing its Defense Ministry sources that India could withdraw from Kavkaz-2020 international drills since the troops from China and Pakistan were also planning to take part in the exercise and New Delhi’s ties with them had deteriorated lately.

This week, NDTV TV channel reported citing its military sources that more than 200 Indian servicemen, representing all three military branches were ready to take part in the September international exercises, Kavkaz-2020, in Russia. Earlier reports said India planned to send 160 personnel from the army, along with 40 troops of the Indian Air Force and two Navy officers as observers.

The situation on the Indian-Chinese border near the union territory of Ladakh deteriorated after clashes occurred there in early May, involving nearly 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers. More than 100 people on both sides were wounded.

Early on June 16 new clashes between the Indian and Chinese military occurred in the union territory of Ladakh near the Galwan River. According to the Indian army sources, the troops attacked with stones and sticks and no firearms were used. At least 20 Indian troops were killed and 76 others were wounded. India also claimed that some 45 Chinese soldiers were killed and wounded in the clashes.