March 18 (Reuters) – Russia, China and Iran have completed three-way naval exercises in the Arabian Sea that included artillery fire at targets on the sea and in the air, the Russian defence ministry said on Saturday.
The exercises, off the Iranian port of Chabahar, took place as Russian President Vladimir Putin prepares to host his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Moscow for a three-day state visit starting on Monday.
Russia has continued to stage military exercises with partners, especially China, despite the strain on its armed forces from the year-long war in Ukraine, where it has failed to achieve any major advance since last summer.
The Russian frigate Admiral Gorshkov and the Chinese destroyer Nanjing were involved in the drills that took place on Thursday and Friday, the defence ministry said.
The Gorshkov, which is equipped with Russia’s latest-generation Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles, also took part in joint naval exercises last month with China and South Africa.
(Reporting by Mark Trevelyan. Editing by Gareth Jones)