Thirty countries will take part in military exercises off Pakistan next year, including the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Japan.
The Russian Navy has announced that it will join a military exercise next year that will become its first joint exercise with NATO countries in 10 years.
In a statement released Thursday, Russia’s Southern Military District said the country’s navy will participate in Exercise Aman-2021 scheduled to take place in February off the coast of Pakistan.
A total of 30 countries will take part in the exercises, 10 committing their fleets and the rest sending observers.
Participating countries are Russia, Pakistan, China and Japan, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing a statement from the Black Sea Fleet that will represent Russia at the exercise.
The exercises will also involve the NATO member fleets of the United Kingdom, the United States and Turkey, the report added.
The last time the Russian Navy participated in exercises with NATO warships was in 2011 during Exercise Bold Monarch off the coast of Spain, the official Russian news agency TASS reported. .
However, the Russian navy has for ten years organized joint exercises with Turkey, with which Moscow has a closer relationship than other NATO countries.
A NATO official said the 30-member military bloc currently has no plans to participate in exercises with Russia, but the participation of individual nations is up to them to decide.
“Our practical cooperation remains suspended due to the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea by Russia to Ukraine in 2014,” said the NATO official.
Ties between Russia and the West languish in post-Cold War lows, strained by everything from the annexation of Crimea to allegations of US election hacking and Syria.
In September, the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Army, Valery Gerasimov, accused NATO of increasing its military presence on the Russian border.
In a report released earlier this month, NATO said Russia is likely to remain its main threat over the next decade.