China and Russia hold first military exercise since Ukraine invasion

China and Russia hold first military exercise since Ukraine invasion
A group of Russian Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets and Russian Sukhoi SU-30SM multirole fighters fly during the Victory Day military parade general rehearsal in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia, 07 May 2022. The Victory Day military parade will take place 09 May 2022 in the Red Square to mark the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany in World War II. EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

May 24 (Reuters) - China and Russia's air forces conducted a joint aerial patrol on Tuesday over the Sea of Japan, East China Sea and the Western Pacific, China's defence ministry said.

The patrol, the first since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, was part of an annual military exercise, the ministry said on its official website.

The two countries had previously held such patrols in 2019, 2020 and 2021 but in the latter half of the year.

Russia has faced a barrage of sanctions from Western countries over its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation”. Beijing has not condemned Russia’s attack and does not call it an invasion, but has urged a negotiated solution.

(Writing by John Geddie; Editing by Andrew Heavens)


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