New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid tensions with China, the Indian Navy on Friday started a two-day joint exercise INDRA NAVY with Russia in the Bay of Bengal. The joint India-Russia naval exercise will be held from September 4 and 5, the Indian Navy said. This is the 11th edition of the INDRA NAVY exercise which first began in 2003.

"11th edition of Indra Navy exercise (in file pics), a biennial bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy & Russian Navy scheduled to begin in the Bay of Bengal from 4th to 5th Sep 2020," Spokesperson, Indian Navy said.

The navy said that the exercise, which aims at enhancing interoperability and improving understanding, would involve surface and anti-aircraft drills, firing exercises and helicopter operations.

"The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding & imbibing best practices between the two navies, & would involve surface & anti-aircraft drills, firing exercises, helicopter operations, seamanship evolutions etc," Indian Navy said.

The exercise has come at time when India is engagged in a bitter faceoff with China at Ladakh border and when Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is visitng Russia. Singh held a bilateral meeting with his Russian counterpart and also visited the main Cathedral of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the Museum Complex in Moscow Friday morning.

During his Russia visit, the defence minister is also likely to sit across the table with his Chinese counterpart to resolve the ongoing border dispute that started in May and has so far resulted in the deaths of at least 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese PLA troops.

Despite several rounds of disengagement talks, the two sides continue to accuse each other of trying to unilaterlly change the status que. According to reports, the Indian security forces has recently taken control of the south ridge of Pangong Tso lake and thwarted an incursion bid by Chinese troops.

Posted By: Shashikant Sharma