Russia responds to NATO maneuvers with own naval exercise in the Black Sea

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MOSCOW – July 5, 2019 – Russia has started a naval exercise on the Black Sea, parallel to the 2019 Sea Breeze multinational exercise, jointly organized by Ukraine and the United States.

“A group of Black Sea Fleet ships continues to implement a set of measures to control the activities of NATO vessels involved in the Sea Breeze-2019 naval exercise in the northwestern part of the Black Sea,” the South Military District press service said.

The statement adds that the Black Sea Fleet fleet continues to monitor the activity of NATO vessels involved in the naval exercise currently underway in the north-west of the basin.

The naval exercises in Russia involve about ten ships, including heavy landing ships Azov and Caesar Kunikov, light ships of Orekhovo-Zuevo and Mirazh missiles, the corvettes Ivanovets, Naberezhnye Chelny and R-60. In the final phase of the exercise, crews will launch missile launches and artillery shots.

The Russian naval maneuver is taking place in parallel with the 2019 Sea Breeze exercise, jointly organized by Ukraine and the United States.

Sequence of intercepts

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On Thursday, a Russian Su-27 fighter intercepted , according to international rules, a Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft from the United States that had approached Russian air space in the Black Sea and was also participating in the trainings in question.

On June 29, Russia’s National Defense Control Center reported that Black Sea Fleet forces guarded US destroyer USS Carney shortly after their entry into the waters of the Black Sea.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has classified NATO and Ukraine exercises as an attempt to destabilize the situation in the region.

These maneuvers involve more than 3,000 military personnel, as well as 32 ships and 24 aircraft from NATO countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Denmark, Latvia, Estonia as well and from allied countries: the United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

The Sea Breeze-2019 international naval exercises began in the Ukrainian city of Odessa on the Black Sea coast on 1 July and will run until 12 this month in three areas of Ukraine.

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