The United States has expressed its concern after India decided to participate in joint military exercises with Russia. The Indian government said that they will be taking part in the “Vostok” exercises which will be held between September 1-7 in a number of locations across Russia.
As per the Russian defence ministry, the exercises will feature around 50,000 troops and over 5000 weapons units which will also include 60 warships and more than 150 aircraft.
“The United States has concerns about any country exercising with Russia while Russia wages an unprovoked, brutal war against Ukraine. But, of course, every participating country will make its own decisions. And I’ll leave it at that,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told Reuters.
As per the Russian news agency TASS, the “Vostok” exercises will include a number of ex-Soviet nations, China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua and Syria. Chief of Russia’s General Staff — Valery Gerasimov — will be conducting the exercises at training grounds in Eastern Military District.
While India has agreed to join most of the exercises, the government has made it clear that they will not take part in the maritime training. The reason behind the decision was to not hurt Japan’s sentiments as both the Russian and Chinese warships will conduct the drills in the Sea of Japan.
India has not directly criticised Russia for the ongoing invasion of Ukraine and also abstained from voting on various global forums against its strategic ally. In the recent past, the two countries have signed a number of arms deals, including for the S-400 Triumf air defence missile system.