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    Russia's Black Sea Fleet Carries Out Combat Readiness Drills in Crimea

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    Russia's Black Sea fleet is holding combat readiness exercises in Crimea and in the Black Sea with coastal and naval units being put on high alert, the press service of the Southern Military District said Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's Black Sea fleet is holding combat readiness exercises in Crimea and in the Black Sea with coastal and naval units being put on high alert, the press service of the Southern Military District said Wednesday.

    "The exercises will test the ability of coastal units to operate at their permanent deployment areas in conditions of high alert, while the warships are being redeployed to maritime training ranges," the press service said in a statement.

    The current drills will continue for several days within the limits of the Black Sea Fleet's training ranges in and around the Crimean peninsula, according to the statement.

    The Sea Breeze war games are annual multinational drills that train maritime, air defense, anti-submarine, and search and rescue operations, with the aim to strengthen cooperation among NATO allies so as to ensure stability in the Black Sea region.

    In January, the Ukrainian parliament adopted a law allowing foreign troops to be present in the country in 2017 to participate in multinational drills. The document outlines the admission of the US military, military of other NATO member states and the countries participating in the NATO's Partnership for Peace program totaling up to 3,000 personnel with weapons and military equipment, up to six aircraft and helicopters for up to 365 days in January-December 2017.

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    Tags:
    warships, naval drills, Sea Breeze 2017, Southern Military District, Crimea, Black Sea, Russia
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