Chinese Linyi and Weifang warships will enter the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk on Friday to participate in Russian-led naval drill in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in history as the respective countries will do a joint military exercise in the western side of the world.
The warships are first expected to show off on Friday in Russia’s Victory Day celebrations devoted to the 70th anniversary of Soviets’ triumph over the Nazis in the Second World War, and then will leave for the naval drill in the Mediterranean.
"It is planned that the People’s Liberation Army Navy warships will leave Novorossiysk on May 12 and relocate to the designated area of the Mediterranean Sea for the Russian-Chinese exercise Sea Cooperation-2015," the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The military authorities from both countries underlined the significance of the Russian-Chinese joint effort, dubbed the Joint Sea 2015, by stressing that the military exercise did not target any third country or security bloc.
The naval forces of Moscow and Beijing had previously carried out joint military naval exercises in the Pacific and East China Sea where they share wide maritime borders.
The planned naval drill will take place from May 11 to 21 with nine warships for strengthening their combat ability in repelling naval threats, according to the Russian Defence Ministry statement.
The Chinese side has also confirmed that both countries intended to enhance their military ability in a joint cooperation.
"The aim is to deepen both countries' friendly and practical cooperation, and increase our navies' ability to jointly deal with maritime security threats," Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said last week in a monthly news briefing.
"What needs saying is that these exercises are not aimed at any third party and have nothing to do with the regional situation," Geng added.
Russia and China have recently intensified their security partnership since both countries have also long been cooperating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the wider Eurasia region.
As the relations soured with the West soon after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its alleged roles in eastern Ukraine crisis, Russia increased its military and economic ties with China which has also been accused of its offensive territorial claims in the South China Sea by the regional and Western allies.
Russia-China joint military drill just came after NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve military drill across the European seas with that the Euro-Atlantic alliance sends a political message to Russia over its alleged aggression and the crisis in eastern Ukraine.