An opening ceremony launching the Russian-Chinese Maritime Coperation-2015 naval exercise took place at the berth N34 in Novorossiysk, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson told Interfax.
The ceremony, which began at 10 a.m., was attended by the Russian Navy Deputy Commander-in-chief, Vice Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov, his Chinese counterpart, Vice Admiral Du Jinchen, the exercise's joint command staff representatives and the crews from the two countries' warships.
The Maritime Cooperation-2015 naval exercise, whose active stage will be held in the Mediterranean Sea, will contribute to a deeper friendship and further practical cooperation between the two countries and their joint countering of naval threats at sea, Fedotenkov and Du said in launching the exercise.
This joint exercise is not aimed against a third party, nor does it have anything to do with the political situation in the region. The exercise will involve about ten various Russian and Chinese warships: Russia's patrol vessel Pytlivy and air-cushion missile ship Samum and China's frigates Linyi and Weifang, as well as the military service personnel from the Novorossiysk garrison.
This afternoon the Russian and Chinese delegations will hold a meeting to verify their planning documents. The heads of the exercise will set the tasks before the participants and perform several exercise episodes on the map.
The Russian-Chinese Maritime Cooperation-2015 naval exercise will be held in the Mediterranean Sea on May 11-21, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov told reporters earlier.
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