Putin says will strengthen army at military drills

Mikhail Metzel  TASS

Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited Tsugol training ground in the Trans-Baikal Territory, where the main stage of Vostok-2018, the biggest military exercises since 1981, is in progress. The drills have gained an global status, with troops from China and Mongolia set to take part in one of the stages. "You demonstrated the military prowess, showed your capability to successfully counter potential military threats", Putin said addressing the troops that participated in the drills.

Putin said Russian Federation is a "peaceful nation" that "does not have any aggressive plans".

Accepting salutes from marching soldiers and tanks flying Chinese flags, Mr Putin said Russian Federation was a peaceful country that wanted co-operation with foreign states but needed to protect its and its allies' sovereignty.

Putin further stressed that he highly assessed the performance of the Russian army and navy in the Vostok-2018 drills.

He said that 87 observers from 57 countries have been invited to watch the drills. You held it at high level: "all units and formations fulfilled their assigned tasks", said Putin.

The exercises, which are taking place in Siberia, Russia's far east and on its Pacific coast, involve 36,000 tanks and come amid hard relations between the west and Russia, and souring ties between China and the US.

According to the Ministry of defence, troops of the Central and Eastern military districts and soldiers of the people's liberation army of China and the Mongol army developed to repel the attack of the imaginary enemy with the subsequent transition to the offensive.

"This is why we will continue to strengthen our armed forces, to equip them in weapons and the latest equipment, and expand our military partnerships, international", he added in front of the soldiers the russians and chinese.

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