China, Iran, and Russia are conducting a five-day trilateral naval exercise, Security Belt-2023, in the Gulf of Oman, according to media reports.
China’s Defense Ministry, in a statement, said the exercises will conclude on Sunday and will include the participation of China’s guided-missile destroyer Nanning, which will engage in activities such as aerial search, maritime rescue, and a ship parade.
The Chinese ministry stated that the Security Belt-2023 exercise will serve to strengthen practical cooperation among the participating countries’ navies, demonstrate their ability to jointly protect maritime security, and build a maritime community with a shared future.
The Russian Foreign Ministry later provided further details, stating that during the first stage of the exercise, the three countries’ military sailors will work on drawing episodes of practical actions at sea, conduct briefings, and tactical briefings.
The naval stage of the exercise will take place on March 16-17, during which the three navies will perform joint maneuvering, artillery firing, and work on tasks such as forming an interethnic detachment of warships, freeing a captured ship, and providing assistance to ships in distress at sea.
The exercise will conclude on March 18, after which the sailors of the three countries will evaluate the results of their joint work. Russia will be represented by a detachment of ships from the country’s Northern Fleet, including the Admiral Gorshkov frigate and the Kama medium sea tanker.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sought to ramp up political, economic and military ties with China and Iran after he sent troops to Ukraine a year ago, triggering multiple rounds of unprecedented Western sanctions.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council of the United States, stated on Wednesday that the White House was unconcerned about the joint training exercise. It won’t be the first time that the Russians and Chinese have trained together, according to Kirby, who noted that the US and other countries often hold training exercises.