Russia open to military cooperation, Putin says

2023-08-16 08:21:11China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Russia is open to military cooperation with other countries, including taking part in joint military training and exercises, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday.

Putin proposed in his video address to the participants of the Army 2023 International Military Technical Forum near Moscow that Russia would cooperate with partners in a variety of areas, such as personnel training, training of foreign military personnel and conducting joint exercises.

"We expect that, as before, important agreements and export contracts will be signed on the sidelines of the forum," he said.

The annual forum is a platform in which prominent Russian military companies showcase their products. About 1,500 leading Russian defense enterprises are taking part in the forum's exhibition and business programs this year. They will be discussing projects with the Russian Defense Ministry as well as cooperating with other countries, according to state news agency TASS.

Putin stressed Russia is "open to deepening" equal technological partnerships and military-technical cooperation with other countries "who defend their national interests, their independent path of development and consider it fundamentally important to build together an equal indivisible security system that would reliably protect each state".

The forum opened as United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new package of security assistance for Ukraine, including air defense munitions, artillery rounds, anti-armor capabilities, and additional mine-clearing equipment.

The package, worth $200 million, comes from "previously authorized Presidential Drawdown Authority" — money that remained after the Defense Department's accounting error.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the US and President Joe Biden on Monday for the latest package of assistance.

Meanwhile, Norway's Kongsberg Defence &Aerospace has signed a $71-million contract with the International Fund for Ukraine for the delivery of air defense systems to Kyiv, the company said in a statement on Monday.

The Counter Uncrewed Aerial Systems, or C-UAS, will provide a significant capability boost for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Kongsberg President Eirik Lie said.

The systems are "developed to counter a wide specter of unmanned aerial vehicles with solutions to either physically harm or otherwise disable the aerial threat", according to him.

On the battlefield, Russia is continuing its offensive in the east and intensifying its activity near Kupiansk and Lyman.

Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said heavy fighting also continues near Bakhmut, where Ukraine has liberated 3 more square kilometers.

Spokesman for Russia's Battlegroup West Sergey Zybinsky said Ukrainian troops tried to regain lost positions in the Kupyansk area of Kharkiv and launched five counterattacks on Russian brigades' camp.


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