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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Blackseafor warships successfully complete drills in Black Sea

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - The warships of the Black Sea Naval group successfully completed exercises in the Black Sea on Tuesday in an effort to maintain stability in the region, a Black Sea Fleet commander has said.

During the exercises, which took place April 9 -27, more than 50 drills were conducted, including joint operations on tactical maneuvering, combat conduct by surface ships, air defense and anti-terrorist activity, the commander said.

The main focus was on maintaining stability and peace in the region, further cooperation and strengthening of mutual understanding among the Black Sea countries, Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Georgi Motyev said.

The warships involve the Bulgarian frigate Verni (Faithful), the Caesar Kunikov Ropucha-I class large landing ship (Russia), the Macelariu corvette (Romania), the Yildirim frigate (Turkey) and the command ship Slavutych (Ukraine).

During the drills, the warships covered more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) and paid three unofficial visits to the ports of Eregli (Turkey), Varna (Bulgaria) and Constanta (Romania).

After leaving the Romanian port of Constanta, the Blackseafor warships passed alongside the flagman ship in line with a tradition which marks the end of the Black Sea naval task force group exercises.

The official end of the drills resulted in the shift in command in control of the warships from the commander of the Black Sea naval task force group to the corresponding national Naval Forces of each country.

The Russian Caesar Kunikov is scheduled to arrive at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Ukraine, on April 28.

Blackseafor was formally established in 2001 on Turkey's initiative and comprises Turkey, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Romania, Georgia and Russia. It conducts search and rescue operations and environmental monitoring, and organizes goodwill visits to Black Sea countries.

This year's drills are being conducted under the command of a Bulgarian admiral.

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