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The Honolulu Advertiser

Updated at 12:26 p.m., Thursday, January 3, 2008

Russia to participate in naval exercises off Hawaii

Advertiser Staff

Russia has accepted a first-ever U.S. invitation to participate in the Rim of the Pacific Naval exercises off Hawai'i this summer, the commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet said today.

Adm. Robert Willard talked about the development at the annual Hawaii-U.S. Military Partnership conference hosted by the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii.

U.S. Pacific Command Deputy Cmdr. Lt. Gen. Dan Leaf said Russia is "not helping" in efforts to maintain stability in the Pacific with increased bomber flights and rhetoric.

But military commanders spoke of the need for continued engagement with countries including Russia and China, which is building up its military.

Willard said China has three times the number of submarines of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific Ocean.