India withdraws from Russia military exercise over Chinese participation

NEW DELHI – India has withdrawn from the multilateral military exercise, Kavkaz-2020, scheduled be conducted in Russia next month over concerns with Chinese participation, especially amid tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

According to sources, this decision was taken after a high-level military and diplomatic meeting in Delhi.

The exercise will be held from September 15 to 27 in Astrakhan, a province in southern Russia. Other participants include Russia itself, Pakistan and other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

India had planned to send 200 military personnel, including 180 soldiers from an infantry battalion and observers from the IAF and the Navy to take part in the exercise.

Sources said the motivation behind India’s withdrawal revolved around the pandemic and the involvement of Chinese and Pakistani soldiers in the multilateral exercise.