Russia and China to step up military cooperation: Putin


Moscow : Russia and China aim to step up their military cooperation in the battle against terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday while attending a major anti-terrorism military exercise by six regional states.
Putin made the remarks while observing the “Peace Mission 2007” exercises by the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Chebarkul in the southern Urals, Interfax reported.

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The SCO, consisting of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, had just concluded a summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, where the group announced an agreement to create a common structure in order to be able to respond to threats to peace, stability and security.

“Joint action by Russia, China and the other SCO states can make a genuine contribution in the battle against terrorism,” the Kremlin boss said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao also attended the military exercises which involved some 6,000 troops and commented, “Our exercise provides a new motivation for our countries to more strongly bundle their forces.”

Interfax said that dozens of jet fighters and helicopters and heavy battle equipment was used in the anti-terrorism exercises in which all six SCO members took part.

At the end of the exercises, Russian commander Igor Konashenkov reported that there were no injuries. Russia alone had helped finance the wargames with 58 million euros ($78 million).

Putin praised the wargames as well.

“The commanders have proven their good organisational capabilities and the participants their first-rate training,” the Russian president said. The exercises were a further step by the SCO members towards creating security and boosting their relations.