|Photo: Andrew Kravchenko/Reuters|
September 3, 2015
Translated by Kristina Rus
The naval forces of the United States strive to maintain a nearly permanent presence in the Black sea, using the rule of freedom of navigation in international waters, said the commander of the 6th fleet of the U.S. Navy, Vice Admiral James Foggo.
Foggo noted that the U.S. Navy “tries to maintain an almost permanent presence in the Black sea”. These are international waters, and the U.S. Navy intends to stay there, “using the right of freedom of Maritime navigation”, – said the commander, reports TASS.
He also noted that this time the Sea Breeze exercises with the participation of NATO countries, Ukraine, Moldova and Sweden “are held in a geopolitical situation that is different from the one that was in the past”. “Of course, it’s a little more intense” because of the conflict in Ukraine and deteriorating relations with Russia, added the Vice-Admiral.
He also said that Kiev needs to modernize its naval forces.
On Monday multinational military exercises “Sea Breeze 2015” started in Ukraine with the participation of NATO countries. It was reported that this year the Sea Breeze exercises will be the most ambitious in history. They will involve 2.5 thousand soldiers from different countries.
It was announced that the Ukrainian army will deploy a thousand troops, nine ships, eight aircraft and helicopters, up to 50 units of wheeled vehicles, from the State border service of Ukraine – about 10 patrol boats.
Such exercises have been held since 1997 in the framework of bilateral cooperation. Their conduct has caused mass protests in Nikolaev and Odessa regions, often accompanied by clashes. Twice the exercises have been disrupted, in particular due to the resistance of local authorities.