Putin reviews Far East military drills

July 17, 2013 at 10:24 AM
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MOSCOW, July 17 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said snap military exercises in the Far East were a unique test of combat readiness in the modern era.

More than 160,000 members of the Russian military took part in snap military drills this week in the Far East. Putin said Wednesday the drill was more than just a snap check of the military's preparedness.

The effectiveness of the military was unprecedented and "more than satisfactory," he said.

"Such exercises have not been held since the Soviet era or perhaps even during that period," he was quoted by state news agency RIA Novosti as saying.

The drills involved more than 5,000 tanks, 130 aircraft and 70 warships and were part of a series of snap combat checks that began in February.

Delegates from the United States and China discussed bilateral ties last week during an annual conference in Washington. Both sides said they shared a common strategic concern about threats from North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

The U.S. military has started to shift its own assets to the Asia-Pacific as part of a realignment coinciding with the end of combat obligations in the Middle East.

Russia has shifted some of its focus to Asian markets to take advantage of the region's vibrant economy.

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