According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Iran, China, and Russia are all participating in a joint naval drill for exercises. The fleet includes Russia’s Varyag, the missile cruiser, Boris Butoma, the sea tanker, and Admiral Tributs, the anti-submarine ship. The drills started Friday, the identicalday Russia is supposed to be in talks with the U.S. regarding its aggressive military presence at the Ukraine border, threatening an invasion.

The Iranian news outlet Hamshahri reported, practice included, “rescuing a floating vessel, releasing a hijacked vessel, shooting at targets,” on top of “other tactical and operational exercises.” The drill area comprises 17,000-square-kilometer (around 6,500 square miles) in the Indian Ocean. The trio and their allyship currently are being dubbed ‘CHIRU’ including each of the three countries.

According to reports, the current exercises had been announced almost six months ago, in August of 2021, but the timing seems too coincidental right now. The Russia-Ukraine ties are as bad as they have ever been previously, with several Ukrainian officials fully believing that Russia is ready for an invasion anytime they want as their military personnel is standing ready on the border.

According to Moscow’s own stance, the current drills are “ensuring international shipping safety” and “combating piracy” and nothing else in specific, not acknowledging the Ukraine tensions. The drills are also supposed to continue in the Mediterranean, the Pacific Ocean as well as the northeastern part of the Atlantic Ocean. The Defense Ministry claimed the drills aim, “to protect Russian national interests,” adding “as well as to counter military threats to Russia from the sea and ocean.”

The Russian news agency by the name of TASS reported, “In accordance with a plan for training the Russian armed forces in 2022 a series of naval exercises will be held in January-February in all zones of the fleets’ responsibility under the general guidance of the commander-in-chief of the Russian Navy, Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov.”

Meanwhile, Biden and the White House continue to send harsh signals to Russia, with Ron Klain, White House chief of staff recently saying Vladimir Putin, “should have no doubt any move by the Russian assembled military across the border of Ukraine is an invasion.” This statement was followed by the national press conference held by President Biden in which he claimed that he thinks Russia is going to “move-in” for an invasion.