NATO, Ukraine begin military exercises in Black Sea

Moscow, Jun 28 (EFE).- NATO and Ukraine on Monday kick off the largest naval maneuvers in the Black Sea in over two decades to boost their deterrence capacities amid increasing tension with Russia.

The exercises, in which the American USS Ross destroyers will participate in, comes a few days after Russia said it had fired warning shots at the British HMS “Defender” sailing in the Black Sea near Crimea.

Sea Breeze 2021 will consist of amphibious warfare exercises, ground maneuvers, dive operations, maritime blockade operations, air defense, special operations integration, anti-submarine warfare among others.

Some 5,000 troops, 32 boats, 40 planes and 18 special operation and diving teams from 30 countries are to take part in the largest maneuvers since since 1997.

Russian defense ministry denounced that the weapons utilized during the exercises will go to the Ukrainian army and ultranationalist units fighting pro-Russian militias in the separatist republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Russia has always opposed the maneuvers, especially since annexing the Crimea in 2014, which has not been internationally recognized, and accused NATO of increasing its military presence near its borders and in the Black Sea. EFE


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