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    Russia to host Frukus-2008 international naval exercises

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    Russian, U.S., U.K., and French warships will take part in a major Russia-NATO interoperability exercise off the Russian coast in the Sea of Japan on August 15-23, a Russian Navy spokesman said on Wednesday.

    VLADIVOSTOK, July 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russian, U.S., U.K., and French warships will take part in a major Russia-NATO interoperability exercise off the Russian coast in the Sea of Japan on August 15-23, a Russian Navy spokesman said on Wednesday.

    Russia's Marshal Shaposhnikov ASW ship, the French Vendemiaire light monitoring frigate, the U.S. McCampbell Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, and the HMS Kent Type 23 Duke class frigate will take part in the maneuvers this year.

    "The active phase of the maneuvers, when the ships in the task force are to leave Vladivostok for the designated area of Russian territorial waters in the Sea of Japan [East Sea], will be held on August 19-22," Captain 1st Rank Roman Martov said.

    Previously called RUKUS, the exercises were launched in 1988 as a vehicle for dialogue between the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They involve training scenarios both at sea and ashore.

    France formally joined the group in 2003, and the name of the exercises was changed to FRUKUS.

    The exercises typically involve around 1,000 personnel from the four countries.

    FRUKUS-2007 was held in the North Atlantic with the participation of the Admiral Chabanenko, a guided-missile destroyer from Russia's Northern Fleet.

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