Russia-Pakistan Current Affairs
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The Druzhba 2018 (Friendship 2018) joint bilateral military exercise between Pakistan and Russian special forces has begun in Pakistan. This exercise will be organized in north-western hill region in Nowshera district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa of Pakistan. The two week long joint military exercise is aimed at bolstering and building military cooperation between the two countries
Druzhba military exercise
Druzhba military exercise between Russia and Pakistan was started in 2016. “Druzba” is Russian word, which means “friendship”. Its first edition was held in October, 2016 at Army High Altitude School in Rattu, northern Pakistan. The second edition was held in Russia at Minralney Vody in North Caucasus at an altitude of 2,300 meters above sea level.
This will be the third joint military drill between both countries under the bilateral training cooperation agreement. In this edition of exercise, servicemen from two countries’ armed forces will perform tasks at altitude of 1,400 meters above the sea level. Over 70 soldiers from Russia’s southern military district are participating. It will also involve experience sharing and develop coordination in carrying out practice combat tasks in a mountainous environment, including operations against illegal armed groups.
Russia-Pakistan Defence ties
The relation between Russia and Pakistan has become strong in the past few years and has moved apart from their past bitter Cold War hostilities. One of the main reasons for this is tough attitude of US with Pakistan, which has led Pakistan to lean towards Russia and China. Pakistan is also keen to strengthen defense relations with Russia. Russia also started selling weapons to Pakistan. It has sold four Mi-35M fighters and cargo helicopters to Pakistan.
Pakistan, Russia sign agreement to allow Pakistani troops to receive training at Russian military training institutes
Pakistan and Russia have signed contract on admission of service members of Pakistan in Russia’s Military Training Institutes. The agreement was signed at conclusion of first meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC), the highest forum of defence collaboration between both countries held in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. This will be for first time, Pakistani soldiers will undergo training at Russian military institutes. This agreement is considered as sign of further strengthening defence ties between Russia and Paksitan.
Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC)
During inaugural JMCC meeting, both sides discussed present status of their defence relations with aim to further strengthen, expand and diversify mutual cooperation. They exchanged views on bilateral and major international issues, including situation in West Asia and Afghanistan. They also expressed requirement of greater cooperative and collaborative approach among global community to defeat extremism. Moreover, comprehensive issue-based review was also carried out during which both countries expressed satisfaction on milestones achieved since signing of defence cooperation agreement in 2014. They also discussed regional security situation and matters of mutual interest, including enhancement of bilateral defence and security cooperation.
Pakistan’s defence ties with Russia have moved past bitter Cold War hostilities in recent years, mostly after chill in Pakistan’s relations with US. This has further pushed Pakistan close towards Russia and China. Russia and Pakistan had defence cooperation agreement in 2014. This has further enhance their bilateral relations. Both countries also have initiative military exercise DRUZBA (Friendship) in 2016.