The first Russia-Egypt anti-terrorism drills kicked off in Egypt on Saturday, the press service of the Russian Defense Ministry informed in a statement.
In total, over 15 helicopters and planes as well as 10 units of military technology and more than 500 servicemen from Airborne troops are planned to be involved in the joint drills.
“For the first time in history, a Russian paratrooper division with its weaponry and technology plans to head off for Africa to participate in a joint international exercise,” the statement said.
Russian and Egyptian servicemen will learn to jointly eliminate unlawful armed formations in desert conditions, according to the release.
“In carrying out the joint anti-terrorism exercise ‘Defenders of Friendship-2016’ in the Arab Republic of Egypt, it is planned, on both sides, to simultaneously have up to 300 paratroopers land using parachutes,” the Defense Ministry said.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that a new uniform for hot climate had been developed for Russian servicemen who were going to participate in military exercises in Egypt.
Meanwhile, Russia and China have strengthened bilateral defense cooperation as both countries are wary of the United Stated deploying the land-based Aegis combat system in Europe and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in South Korea which the White House has pledged to install as soon as possible.
The latest confirmation came on October 11, when Major General Cai Jun, Deputy Chief of Operations at China’s Central Military Commission Joint Staff Department, announced that Russia and China will hold second missile defense drills, dubbed Aerospace Security, in 2017.
Shi Ze, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said that Russia and China's increased cooperation is particularly relevant at a time when terrorism and global instability are on the rise. The analyst added that both countries are on the same page when it comes to security issues.
“Russia and China's shared stance on THAAD and Syria points to both countries fostering strategic ties,” Shi Ze noted, adding that Moscow and Beijing have “mutual strategic trust and strategic interests.”
The analyst also maintained that both countries will enhance strategic cooperation and partnership, saying that these developments “will help to resolve regional conflicts.”
Defense analyst Konstantin Sivkov from the Center for Eurasian Studies at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry went further by suggesting that Russia and China are “de facto” on the way to establish a “military and political alliance.”
“This means that the United States will increasingly encounter Russian and Chinese joint efforts to protect their interests. Both China and the US clearly understand this," he told Sputnik.
Volodin said Russia and China are changing the global balance of power. The expert also pointed out that neither Moscow, nor Beijing has become tougher in their rhetoric despite claims to the contrary.