Annual joint Russian-Norwegian naval manoeuvers Barents-2002 have begun in the Barents Sea. According to a Rosbalt news agency's reporter, the objective is to drill joint search for and assistance to ships in distress. Participating on the Russian side are the Federal Border Guard Service, the Northern Fleet of Russia's Navy and some other units.
The manoeuvers are conducted under the agreement for cooperation when searching for and assisting distressed ships signed between the two countries in 1995.
The manoeuvers will continue through August 29.
China has allocated $20 billion to restore economies of the Arab states. In addition, China and the Arab countries will create an inter-bank association worth three billion dollars