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Russia holds drills to protect oil tankers

The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong, China) quoted military experts as saying that this exercise was aimed at demonstrating the Russian Navy’s air defense capabilities after the flagship Moskva sank in the Black Sea.

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Destroyer Admiral Panteleyev. (Photo: TASS)

During exercises in the East China Sea, the anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev of Russia’s Pacific Fleet protected a medium-sized oil tanker from air raids by a simulated adversary.

Admiral Panteleyev is a Udaloy-class destroyer, which has left Vladivostok on a mission in the Asia-Pacific region. Sputnik news agency reported that in March, Admiral Panteleyev practiced with a Ka-27PS helicopter in the East China Sea.

Beijing-based analyst Li Jie commented: “Russia is concerned that its oil tankers may be seized due to Western sanctions. The accompanying warship can protect the tanker by detecting and intercepting the enemy’s air target in time.”

He added that Russia has also warned Western countries that it possesses an advanced air defense capability and will upgrade this capability through regular training.

Former Chinese army colonel Yue Gang believes that Russia’s drills are aimed at “show the US and its allies that Russia’s crude oil trade is sacrosanct” at the same time to protest Western sanctions on Russian oil exports.

According to Yue Gang, the Admiral Panteleyev has strong independent combat capabilities, including anti-submarine and anti-aircraft functions.

Mr. Yue Gang assessed that Moscow is showing its determination to avoid the country’s oil tankers being seized by other countries. He said that Russia does not want the US seizure of Iranian oil tankers in the past to repeat with this country.

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