Russia and Pakistan are ready to conduct first ever military exercises in the mountains in 2016. Earlier today, it was announced by the Russian Army’s Commander-in-Chief Oleg Salyukov that the Russian ground forces will hold their first ever military exercises with Pakistan in 2016. Russia will conduct seven international military drills in 2016 and according to TASS News Agency, Russia and Pakistan will collaborate in the mountains. Salyukov, while referring to the drill said,
As part of interaction with our foreign colleagues in 2016, we have scheduled seven joint exercises with the involvement of the relevant units of foreign states. The Army will hold the Russian-Vietnamese exercise and the first ever Russian-Pakistani special drills in the mountainous terrain.
Pakistan Army has significant experience in the hard terrain offered by the mountains and should be a unique opportunity to possibly learn and extend help to Russian forces. Russia and Pakistan for nearly the last two years are on a path to recovery when it comes to diplomatic ties.
Russia lifted the embargo it had placed on Pakistan regarding arms supplies back in June 2014. Later the two countries signed a bilateral defense cooperation agreement with Pakistan to strengthen military relations in November 2014. Year 2015 brought more fruit with Russia agreeing to sell SU-35s and Mi-35s to Pakistan. Russia and Pakistan also agreed on construction of a gas pipeline.
The date as to when the exercises between Russia and Pakistan will begin has not been confirmed by the authorities however, it is stipulated that may take place towards the third quarter of 2016. Russia announced that it further plans on holding joint anti-terror command and staff exercises with the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an organization to which Pakistan’s full membership was approved by the Council of Heads of State at its 15h Summit. Salyukov stated,
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The Peace Mission-2016, the joint drills of peace-keeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization code-named Indestructible Brotherhood, the Frontier-2016 joint command and staff drills, the Indra-2016 Russian-Indian exercises and the Selenga-2016 Russian-Mongolian drills will be held.