05:21 GMT29 May 2020
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    Kiev and NATO discussed on Friday security in the Black Sea region, the Ukrainian Mission to the alliance said in a statement.

    KIEV (Sputnik) – During the session the parties "exchanged their views of the security situation in the Black Sea region," according to the statement.

    "In the NATO headquarters a session of the NATO-Ukraine commission at the level of deputy permanent representatives with the participation of Deputy to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Lytvynenko took place.

    The parties also discussed the "Russian military escalation" in the region.

    Last month, the NATO defense ministers decided to increase the alliance's presence in the Black Sea region. According to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance’s naval groups will increase the number of military exercises and will boost intelligence gathering in the region among other tasks.

    Recently, the Sea Shield 2017 maritime drills with the participation of seven NATO member states and Ukraine were held in the Black Sea. The drills took place on the territory of 80,000 square kilometers (49,700 square miles). Approximately 2,800 personnel from Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, the United States, Canada, Spain and Ukraine, 16 warships and 10 warplanes will participate in the 10-day exercises.

    NATO has been increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea since the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in April 2014, in response to what it considers to be Russia's aggressive foreign policy. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed the Ukraine-related accusations leveled at it, warning that increased NATO activities near the country's borders could undermine regional and global stability.


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