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Russian Federation holds biggest military drills since Soviet era

Russian Federation holds biggest military drills since Soviet era

The forthcoming summit will reportedly be held in part of an economic forum which in turn will take place in Vladivostok, a city in Russia's far eastern region.

Dubbed Vostok-2018, the war games involve hundreds of thousands of troops, armoured vehicles, tanks, drones and warships.

The Vostok exercise highlights two important, seemingly contradictory things about the relationship between China and Russian Federation.

Asked on Tuesday if the USA was anxious about a possible military alliance between Russian Federation and China, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told Pentagon reporters he thought "that nations act out of their interests".

He said China feels Washington's hostile attitude and actions, such as deploying the THAAD missile defence system in South Korea, relieve it of any need to take United States views into consideration when deepening strategic trust with Moscow.

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Xi said the two countries' friendship was "getting stronger all the time". Up to 1,000 Russian military aircraft, two naval fleets and all Russia's airborne units are also on show.

Mr Shoigu said Vostok-2018 will be "unprecedented in scale, both in terms of area of operations and numbers of military command structure, troops and forces involved", adding that it will also be "the largest preparatory action for the armed forces since Zapad-81".

Xi, who has been at loggerheads with the USA over trade, said he believed building strong relationships with Russian Federation was vital.

"Imagine 36,000 military vehicles moving at the same time: tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles - and all of this, of course, in conditions as close to a combat situation as possible", Shoigu said.

The military arranged several artillery batteries stocked with mid to long-range S-300, S-400, Tor and Buk missiles, the likes of which Moscow has recently sold to Syria and Iran despite protests from the USA and Israel. Gazprom, Russia's largest energy company, is reportedly building a 3,000 km gas pipeline connecting eastern Siberia to the Chinese border.

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Amid growing recent tensions between Moscow and the West, NATO has said it will monitor the drills closely.

He said: "It fits into a pattern we have seen over time - a more assertive Russian Federation, increasing its defence budget and military presence".

He noted that China feels that the Washington's hostile attitude and actions, such as deploying the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, relieve it of any need to take US views into consideration when deepening strategic trust with Moscow.

"I think that nations act out of their interest".

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