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U.S. hosts Frukus Russia-NATO interoperability naval exercise

RIA Novosti

20/06/2007 17:44 MOSCOW, June 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian, U.S., U.K., and French warships have started sea maneuvers as part of the major Russia-NATO interoperability exercise near the U.S. Atlantic coast, a Russian Navy spokesman said Wednesday.

"The Frukus-2007 exercise includes the repulsion of an attack by small-sized vessels, helicopter rescue operations, personnel transfer procedures, and joint maneuvering," Captain Igor Dygalo told RIA Novosti.

Russia's Admiral Chabanenko (ASW ship), USS Laboon (destroyer, Arleigh Burke Class), H.M.S. Portland (frigate, Type 23), and La Fayette (stealth frigate, La Fayette Class) have started maneuvers in high seas.

In a series of roundtable discussions held as part of the exercise, naval officers shared ideas about multilateral naval cooperation on issues ranging from maritime security to civil rescue operations. On Thursday, USS Laboon will stay at Norfolk Virginia, and host a tour for the international media.

From 1988, only Russia, the U.S., and the U.K. participated in the exercise then dedicated to "naval friendship." When France joined in 2003, adding "F" to the annual exercise's codename, practical interoperability became the main issue.

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