Robert HARNEIS -TDO- A contingent of the Russian Army is in Pakistan to participate in a joint training exercise - ‘DRUHZBA-5’.

Pakistan-Russia joint military exercises Druzhba are held every year. Druzhba means friendship in Russian. They started in 2016. They include counter-terrorism and special operations exercises.

‘Russian Federation Special Forces’ contingent arrived in Pakistan for 2 weeks long joint exercise DRUZHBA 5,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a tweet on Thursday.

The joint exercise will last for 2 weeks. It is aimed at sharing both armies’ experiences in the counter terrorism domain. Sky diving and hostage rescue operations will be highlights of the exercise. 

The exercises are seen as another step in growing military-to-military cooperation, indicating a steady growth in the overall relationship between the two countries, whose ties were hampered by Cold War rivalry for decades.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the exercise was intended to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries and it was being held under the framework of international military cooperation. “During the exercise, the military personnel of the two countries will exchange experience and work out interaction in performing tasks within the framework of training combat operations, in particular, to destroy illegal armed formations,” the Russian defense ministry added.

In September this year, a contingent of the Pakistan armed forces participated in the opening ceremony of multinational military exercises titled ‘Kavkaz 2020’ in the Russian city of Astrakhan.

Pakistan also participated in the similar series of exercises called 'Tsentr 2019', in Russia last year. The wargames were joined by troops from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and other countries.

Pakistan’s Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) General Nadeem Raza held a meeting with Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General Valery V. Gerasimov, in early September, during his visit to Moscow to discuss military cooperation and regional security dynamics.

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