India and Russia are long standing strategic partners and they share a special and privileged partnership

Indian and Russian naval ships are taking part in the two-day joint passing exercise, in the Bay of Bengal, ending on Friday, the External Affairs Ministry said.

“The ships of Indian Navy and Russian Federation Navy will be conducting passage exercise or PASSEX. This exercise is tentatively scheduled on the third and fourth of December and will be held in the Bay of Bengal,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during a weekly briefing on Thursday.

According to the MEA spokesperson, this PASSEX will maintain the continuity of maritime operational engagement between the two sides and keeping in view, restrictions related to Covid-19, the PASSEX with Russian Federation Navy will be conducted in a contactless format.

A passing exercise is when two or more navies carry out communication and navigational drills with ships coordinating maneuvers around each other.

Earlier this year, India and Russia conducted the Indra Navy-2020 exercise in the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea.