First Russia-Asean naval exercise concludes

First Russia-Asean naval exercise concludes

Indonesia says drills in South China Sea have 'strategic impact' and 'cultivate friendship'

The Russian destroyer Admiral Panteleyev is seen in the waters off Belawan during a joint exercise between the Indonesian Navy, the Russian Navy and Asean members. (Indonesian fleet command Koarmada I handout photo via AFP
The Russian destroyer Admiral Panteleyev is seen in the waters off Belawan during a joint exercise between the Indonesian Navy, the Russian Navy and Asean members. (Indonesian fleet command Koarmada I handout photo via AFP

JAKARTA: Russia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) have concluded their first joint naval exercise, Indonesia’s navy said on Saturday, as the region faces rising tensions with China.

The three-day exercise off the coast of Indonesia’s Sumatra island aimed at increasing interoperability between the Asean member states and the Russian navy in the strategic maritime area. It comes amid rising tensions between major powers in the South China Sea, a resource-rich waterway of geopolitical significance.

“The exercise has a strategic impact because it was designed to cultivate friendships between the Indonesian government, Asean countries and Russia,” the navy said.

The two-stage drills involved eight warships and four aircraft from Russia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei.

Aleksei Bolotnikov, commander of the Russian warship Admiral Panteleyev, was quoted as saying he hoped the next Asean-Russia exercise could take place in Vladivostok.

Russia and the Southeast Asian bloc held their fourth summit online in October, a meeting timed to mark the anniversary of relations between Russia and the 10-member regional grouping.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin urged China last month to “back off“ after three Chinese coast guard vessels blocked and used a water cannon on resupply boats headed toward a Philippine-occupied atoll in the South China Sea.

China says the territory falls within its “nine-dash line”, a boundary including almost all the South China Sea that a tribunal at the Hague in 2016 found lacked legal basis.


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (7)

Youngsters to get 1st shots on Monday

The Ministry of Public Health is ready to provide the first round of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine to children aged five to 11 on Monday at the Queen Sirikit National Institute of Child Health.

09:16

BoT seen among last to hike as Fed signals liftoff

Thailand's central bank is expected to be the last in Southeast Asia to lift rates, leading to one of the steepest yield curves in the region as other nations brace for the first Federal Reserve hike since 2018.

09:04

Judges uphold self-defence ruling in killing of activist

The Appeal Court on Wednesday upheld a Civil Court ruling dismissing a lawsuit filed against the army for compensation over the death of Lahu human rights activist Chaiyaphum Pasae, who was shot dead at a checkpoint in Chiang Mai province in 2017.

08:55