The 5th round of military exercise of Pakistani and Russian forces began on Sunday. A contingent of 150 Russian forces arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to participate in the two week exercise named 'Bruzhba-5' (Friendship-5).
The Russian troops, which include 70 special forces, are participating in the exercise that would continue till 21st November.
The exercise is aimed at sharing both armies' experiences in counterterrorism domain," the Pakistan Army Public Relations said in a statement.
The fourth edition of 'Bruzhba' (Friendship) was held in Russia in October last year. The defense relations between the two countries have been strengthened since the signing of defense cooperation pact in 2014.
The Russian defense ministry said the exercise was aimed to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries, and it was being held under the framework of international military cooperation.
The joint military exercise "Druzhba" between Pakistan and Russia has been held annually since 2016.
Earlier in September, a contingent of the Pakistani armed forces participated in the opening ceremony of the multinational military exercise titled "Kavkaz-2020" in Astrakhan, Russia.
"This year, due to the epidemiological situation in the world, the stages of the exercise will be held in compliance with all measures to prevent spread of the new Coronavirus infection. All Russian military personnel were tested for Covid-19 before leaving for the exercise," the Russian defense ministry said.
The Frontier Post reported that over the past few years, defense cooperation between Pakistan and Russia is gradually growing. The scope of bilateral cooperation in areas of defense is expanding.
Russia had lifted the embargo on sale of arms to Pakistan in 2014, enabling the latter to diversify the source of purchase of military hardware. Pakistan had received four MI-35 attack helicopters from Russia in 2017.
A state owned Russian entity, United Engine Corporation has agreed to supply modified version of RD-93 engine to be fitted in fighter jet JF-17, jointly manufactured by China and Pakistan at the Aeronautical complex at Kamra, according to Defense World.Net.
On July 3, 2019 Russia's Commander Ground Forces General Oleg Salyukov visited Pakistan for talks with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. The matters that came up for discussion pertained to enhanced regional security, mutual cooperation in training and measures of expanding military ties, according to media reports.
In August 2018, Pakistan and Russia signed a military cooperation agreement which opened doors for Russian military training of Pakistani army officers.
The rare deal comes amid deteriorating relations between Islamabad and the United States, which has resulted in the halt of all military exchange programs with Pakistan and left a void that Moscow has stepped in to fill, according to Voice of America
The security training agreement was concluded at the end of the two-day inaugural meeting of the Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC), a statement of the Pakistan Defense Ministry said.