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Russia, China display their firepower

Vladimir Radyuhin

Shanghai Group conducts joint war exercises to counter U.S., NATO

PHOTO: AP

SIMULATED WAR: Helicopters from Russia, China and Central Asian countries participate in war games in Chebarkul, Russia, on Friday.

MOSCOW: Russia, China and four Central Asian members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conducted their largest war games in the southern Ural Mountains on Friday.

The leaders of the SCO watched an impressive display of combat skills and firepower in “Peace Mission-2007”, the first SCO military drill in which all the SCO nations took part. Russia and China, as well as Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Fighter jets whizzed overhead, airborne troops baled out from transport planes, tanks and armoured personnel carriers surged ahead, as over 6,000 troops freed a small town captured by mock terrorists and insurgents. Russian television broadcast the exercises live.

Regional security

The war games came a day after the SCO leaders vowed to keep the U.S. and NATO away from Central Asia, declaring at their summit in Kyrgyzstan that stability and security in the region must be the responsibility of the regional nations and their organisations.

“Today’s exercises are yet another step towards stronger relations between our countries, a step aimed at strengthening global peace and security, above all the security of our peoples,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the war games.

Speaking in Bishkek, Mr. Putin proposed that the SCO member-states hold regular joint military manoeuvres in the future.

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