Moscow and Beijing are flexing their maritime muscles amid growing tensions with the West
As relations between East and West continue to spiral, Russia and China have conducted a joint naval exercise in the Arabian Sea, featuring large warships and one of Beijing's missile destroyer vessels, Moscow's Ministry of Defense has revealed.
In a statement on Tuesday, military chiefs announced the details of the Peaceful Sea 2022 mission, which saw a squad of ships deployed from Russia's Pacific Fleet, including the Varyag missile cruiser, the large anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs, and the sea tanker Boris Butoma. Beijing deployed its Urumqi missile destroyer and the complex supply ship Taihu.
In footage released by officials, vessels could be seen cruising alongside aircraft in the expanse of the western Arabian Sea, while another segment purported to show officers manning equipment on the bridge.
As well as refining their tactical maneuvering, the two navies practiced organizing the inspection and release of a hijacked cargo ship - the Boris Butoma tanker. Sailors also staged the airlift of an injured person from the Admiral Tributs vessel to the Urumqi destroyer using the Pacific Fleet Naval Aviation's deck helicopter Ka-27PS.
The joint drill comes shortly after Iran, Russia, and China kicked off joint war games in the Indian Ocean in the 2022 Marine Security Belt exercise over an area of 17,000 square kilometers (6,560 square miles).
As tensions flare between Russia, China, and the West, Moscow and Beijing have repeatedly emphasized their close ties. Speaking to Russian journalists as part of his annual press conference, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the two countries are working together in several key areas, including defense.\
"We are cooperating in the field of security. The Chinese Army is equipped to a significant extent with the world's most advanced weapons systems. We are even developing certain high-tech weapons together," the Russian leader revealed.
In October, Russian and Chinese naval vessels completed their first joint patrol mission in the Pacific Ocean. The exercise came shortly after the announcement of a trilateral submarine pact between Washington, London, and Canberra, known as AUKUS, which has widely been interpreted as designed to counter China's growing influence at sea.