An invitation has been extended to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to participate in a "Tank Biathlon", according to NPR. The competition comes in the wake of increasing tension between the two nations over issues such as missile defense and military deployment to the Mediterranean. NPR reports that the U.S. has accepted that invitation, but has not yet been able to confirm with the Department of Defense.
Here's how a tank biathlon works according to the ITAR-TASS:
"In the tank biathlon, every tank runs almost 20 kilometres at a maximum possible speed, while firing from all weapons the targets, which are rising in different directions and distances. On the course, a tank has to pass repeatedly a ford, fences, a rut bridge, high-speed sections and overtaking passages. At all the times, the crew remains constantly in the firing position."
From the sounds of it, the U.S. will need an ace tank crew in order to best Russian competitors. During a test taking place in Moscow, competitors completed a three lap circuit, with a top time of 5 minutes and 28 seconds. Russia is currently in the midst of a competition with Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Germany and Italy will reportedly compete along with the U.S. and Russia in next year's biathlon.