Defence Minister Khattak witnesses military drills in Russia
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Pakistan Defence Minister Pervez Khattak has witnessed multinational exercise KAVKAZ 2020 at Astrakhan, Russia, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday.
The ISPR statement said that Lieutenant General Azhar Saleh Abbasi, Chief of Logistic Staff, was also part of the delegation. The Pakistani defence minister met Pakistani and Chinese participants of the exercise.
Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar earlier said Kavkaz 2020 exercise is aimed at assessing the ability of troops to react to various challenges and learn from each other’s experiences.
The Kavkaz-2020 exercise held within the territory of the Southern Military District, and in the Black and Caspian seas under the direction of Chief of the Russian General Staff Army General Valery Gerasimov. More than 80,000 personnel participated in the strategic command exercises this year.
The vast majority of these troops are from Russia, but soldiers from Armenia, Belarus, China, Iran, Myanmar, and Pakistan are also part of it. India promised to be a part of these military drills but withdrew from it under US directions.
It may be mentioned that this week Russia and six other countries are carrying out a largescale military exercise called Kavkaz-2020 (Caucasus 2020).
Drills involve 250 tanks, almost 500 armored personnel carriers, around 200 pieces of artillery, and ships from both the Russian and Iranian navies.
Russia is a member of the Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Normally, under the organization’s guidelines, any military exercise exceeding 13,000 troops requires international observers from the OSCE. However, the Kremlin declared that the number of frontline soldiers participating in the exercise at any one time will not exceed the 13,000-troop limit so no OSCE observers will be present.
At the Kapustin Yar training ground in the Astrakhan region, a solemn ceremony of awarding participants in the Kavkaz-2020 strategic command and staff exercises took place, reports press service Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.
It is noted that the Deputy Minister of Defence of the country, Lieutenant General Yunus-Bek Yevkurov personally congratulated the units of Armenia, Belarus, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Russia on the successful completion of the international manoeuvres.
As he stressed, the Caucasus-2020 exercises were of a purely defensive nature and were not directed against other countries. Representatives of the command of foreign military contingents expressed gratitude to the Russian side for organizing the exercises, hospitality and the acquired training and combat experience.
According to the deputy minister, the servicemen of the six states have successfully coped with the assigned tasks. Thus, within the framework of the fight against armed formations of international terrorist organizations, the participants worked out the use of a coalition group of forces.
In a solemn atmosphere, the military were awarded the medal of the Russian Ministry of Defence “For Strengthening the Combat Commonwealth”, in addition, they were presented with souvenirs. During the ceremony, the symbolic flag of the exercises was also lowered, after which the troops marched in a solemn march to the sounds of the combined military band.
In addition, especially for the participants of the Kavkaz-2020 command and control squad, the ministry organized a concert at which the military artists of the song and dance ensembles of the Southern Military District, the Black Sea Fleet and the creative teams of formations and military units of the Southern Military District performed.
Recall that military attaches from 70 countries arrived at the Kapustin Yar training ground within the framework of the Caucasus-2020 strategic exercises. Russian President Vladimir Putin also flew to the Astrakhan Region and watched the main stage of the strategic command and staff exercises together with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.