UK warship sent to Baltic sea on military drills to reassure allies - report
8 June 2014, 13:21 -- Royal Navy frigate HMS Montrose has been deployed to the Baltic Sea to take part in the annual joint military exercise Baltops, the Daily Telegraph reported Sunday citing UK Defense Secretary Philip Hammond.
Britain's armed forces are to participate in three operations in the Baltic region to provide 'reassurance' to allies in Eastern Europe, Hammond said, according to the report.
The move comes amid continuing tensions with Russia over Ukraine.
'The situation in Ukraine continues to be of great concern to the international community and it is right that NATO members and partners publicly demonstrate our commitment to the collective security of our NATO allies,' Hammond said. The UK continues playing a key role in providing reassurance to its allies in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states, he said.
'Our contribution to these exercises builds on other action we have taken, including the deployment of RAF Typhoons to the NATO air policing mission in the Baltic states,' he added.
London will send more than 100 soldiers to Estonia and Latvia for a live-fire training exercise called Sabre Strike. The 42nd annual joint military exercise Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) kicked off in the Baltic Sea on Friday.
This year's BALTOPS will include US sailors, in addition to forces from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and Georgia. The maneuvers will be held until June 21 in the Danish and Swedish waters.
BALTOPS, this year's largest international military exercise in the Baltic, aims to improve maritime security in the region and increase interoperability among the Baltic states and their allies.
During this annual exercise, troops from 13 nations will become familiar with the practices and military operating procedures of the fellow sailors.
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