Russia and China's naval drills in the Baltic Sea are a demonstration of expanding military cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Captain of the first rank Mikhail Nenashev told RIA Novosti.
The Type 052D destroyer Hefei of the Chinese Navy arrives in Baltiysk for the 2017 Naval Cooperation Russia-China drills
Chinese naval ships were welcomed at the port of Baltiysk in Russia's Kaliningrad region on Friday for participation in the Maritime Cooperation-2017 joint naval drills, which go on until July 28.
Chinese warships taking part in the drills include the guided missile destroyer Hefei, the frigate Yuncheng and the supply ship Lomahu. The Russian side committed two Steregushchiy-class corvettes – the Steregushchiy and the Boikiy, a rescue tug, Ka-27 shipborne helicopters, Su-24 tactical bombers and An-26 military transport aircraft.
Following a coastal stage, on Monday the navies began the second, active sea stage. The drills include anti-ship, anti-sub, and anti-aircraft defense, search and rescue and anti-piracy.
Military expert Konstantin Sivkov, a Russian naval captain of the first rank, told RIA Novosti that the arrival of Chinese vessels in the Baltic Sea is an unprecedented demonstration of Beijing's readiness for greater defense cooperation with Moscow, and to flex its military muscles in the global arena.