Turkey mulling Russian invite to join Vostok 2018 military exercises -Turkish DM

Turkey is in the process of evaluating Russia’s invitation to Turkey to join what could be the largest military exercises in half a century, pro-government Yeni Şafak daily reported, quoting Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

The Vostok 2018 exercises will involve 300,000 Russian troops from across the country, in addition to several thousand Chinese troops. Russia, which spans 11 time zones, divides its military preparedness drills into two separate events - the Zapad (“West”) drills in the Urals, followed by the Vostok (“East”) drills in Siberia the following year.

Akar noted that Turkey had not yet decided whether it will accept the invitation for the exercises set to take place between Sept. 11-17 in China, Mongolia and Siberia.  

The invitation from Russia arrives as Moscow is believed to be on its way to replacing Europe as Ankara’s advocate in international politics and Turkey prepares to purchase Russian S-400 missile systems, despite objections from the United States and NATO.