TASS Russian News Agency, 1 July 2017
BEIJING, July 1st. /TASS/. Joint Russian-Chinese naval drills in the Baltic Sea create a new dimension in bilateral military cooperation, Russia’s Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov told reporters ahead of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia, due on July 3-4. According to the ambassador, such military drills are not aimed against other countries.
“I haven’t heard anyone expressing much concern over this so-called ‘threat.’ The Baltic States repeat their usual incantations, but at the same time, they take for granted the fact that NATO is deploying large forces on their territory,” the Russian ambassador said.
Denisov disagreed that such cooperation was “scaring off” other countries of the region. “Those who are scared off are inclined to being scared,” he said. “For instance, I have seen an article on the internet, written by some Swedish military analysts. They say that they see no threat in it,” Denisov noted. “The main thing is that rules concerning such events should be respected,” the Russian ambassador added.
According to Denisov, naval cooperation between Russia and China has reached “an advanced stage.” He noted that the two countries had already conducted such joint drills at the Pacific Ocean, South China Sea and Mediterranean Sea. “China is interested in ocean navigation, it is kind of a long-distance cruise for them,” the Russian ambassador to China said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will make official visits to Russia and Germany on July 3-6. He will also participate in the G20 summit scheduled to be held in the German city of Hamburg on July 7-8.
Additional contributions from the editorial team at The Baltic Post