Pak army contingent participates in opening ceremony of Kavkaz 2020, in Russia

Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar said Kavkaz 2020 exercise is aimed at assessing ability of troops to react to various challenges and learn from each other's experiences. The week-long exercise will commence from Monday.

Kavkaz 2020

Pakistan armed forces contingent participated in the opening ceremony of multinational military exercise Kavkaz 2020 held at Astrakhan region, Russia, on Saturday.

Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar said Kavkaz 2020 exercise is aimed at assessing ability of troops to react to various challenges and learn from each other’s experiences. The week-long exercise will commence from Monday.

India withdraws itself from the program 

India, initially scheduled to take part with 200 troops, ultimately dropped out on the excuse that Pakistan and China were included, sources reported. On September 5, Azerbaijan backed out as well.

Baku gave no official reason for its withdrawal from the Russian-led drills; though, bilateral relations have recently been under serious strain over Azerbaijan’s anger at Russian military transport flights to Armenia in the midst of Azerbaijani-Armenian border clashes. Despite its decision not to participate in Kavkaz 2020, Azerbaijan will, nonetheless, send two military observers to attend the maneuvers, reported sources.

Read More: Indian Army chief remarks reflect extremist ideology, hegemonic ambitions: FO

What is the Kavkaz 2020?

Despite some disruptions to this year’s military training schedule caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian Armed Forces have prepared to hold their annual capstone strategic-operational exercise on September 15–26.

“Kavkaz 2020” (“Caucasus 2020”) will feature large-scale drills spread across the southern Astrakhan region, Prudboi, Ashuluk, Kapustin Yar, Nikolo-Aleksandrovskii and several air-training grounds.

The latest Kavkaz exercise promises to be a multinational endeavor. Beyond Russia and fellow Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members China, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, additional foreign participants reportedly will include Mongolia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Belarus, Turkey, Armenia, Turkmenistan and even Myanmar.

Military experts say that the training exercises include military training demonstrations, and that participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate their advanced military hardware and technology.

Pakistan last year participated in the same series of T-Center 2019.

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