South Africa will hold joint naval exercises with Russia and China next month off its east coast.
“As a means to strengthen the already flourishing relations between South Africa, Russia and China, a multinational maritime exercise between these three countries will take place in Durban and Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal province from 17 -27 February," the South Africa National Defense Force (SANDF) said in a statement on Thursday.
The exercise, called Mosi, which means smoke in Tswana, one of South Africa’s 11 official languages, will draw 350 SANDF personnel who will participate alongside Russian and Chinese counterparts.
The South African army said the exercise will also coincide with its Armed Forces Day celebrations which will be held in Richards Bay.
South Africa's main opposition party Democratic Alliance among others has criticized the government for carrying out the drill amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
However, the South African army said this is the second joint drill it is holding with Russia and China, the first being in 2019 in Cape Town.
South Africa is a member of BRICS, a bloc of emerging economies that includes Russia, Brazil, India, China, and South Africa.
South Africa, the most industrialized economy on the continent, has taken a neutral stance in the Russia-Ukraine war. It has also abstained from voting on the issue at the UN.
Source: Anadolu Agency