SAVONLINN - Russian-Chinese military cooperation is not directed against third countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"In this case our military is simply refining their skills," he said at a press conference following talks with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto, when asked what message Russia and China are conveying to other countries by holding the drills in the Baltic Sea.
Russia and China on Tuesday and Wednesday carried out their first joint drills on the Baltic Sea.
Overall, speaking about Russian-Chinese military interaction, the president said that it "is not directed against any third countries."
Putin said that Russia respects the neutrality of Baltic Sea states and is ready for cooperation with all impartial countries in the region.
The nature of the cooperation between Russia and China is strategic, the Russian head of state said.
"The cooperation between Russia and China, including military cooperation, will bring stability to the whole world... We are not about to create military unions. This is a good example of how cooperation should be developed in the whole world," Putin was quoted by the Finnish public broadcaster as saying.
The Finnish President Sauli Niinisto also seemed to take the military drills calmly.
"As long as there are armed forces in the world, they will also carry out training," Niinisto said.