VILNIUS – Lithuania’s defense officials say they are keeping a close eye on the joint Russian-Chinese military exercise gaining momentum in the Baltic Sea, informs LETA/BNS.
Defense Vice-Minister Vytautas Umbrasas said Lithuania expected the war games to follow all standards of international marine law and refrain from interrupting economic operations in the Baltic Sea.
“Lithuania constantly observes and analyzes the exercises taking place in our neighborhood, as well as other military operations, sharing the information in its possession with NATO Allies,” the vice-minister told BNS.
The active phase of the Russian-Chinese military training Marine Interaction 2017 is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in the Baltic Sea.
Navy officers from both countries involved will fire in various types of targets on the surface of the water and in the air, performing rescue of people overboard and movement of freight between ships. They will also train provision of assistance to an emergency vessel, the Russian Baltic Fleet said in a press release cited by the news agency Interfax.
Three Chinese warships, including the destroyer Hefei, arrived in the Russian Baltic Fleet’s main base in Baltiysk in the Russian Kaliningrad region on July 21.
After the maneuvers, the Chinese vessels will proceed to St.Petersburg.
Russia and China have been conducting joint military exercises annually since 2012, however, this was the first exercise in the Baltic Sea.
Some observers say China’s arrival in the Baltic Sea can be interpreted as response to US military activity in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.