The United States of America and Ukraine is conducting a military exercise, joined by 30 countries, in Black Sea and southern Ukraine. Exercise was started despite Russia called to cancel it.
- According to United States Navy Capt. Kyle Gantt, large number of participants in exercise reflects shared commitment to ensure free access to international waters.
- Exercise is being conducted in the backdrop of a rise in tensions between NATO and Russia. Russia had fired warning shots and dropped bombs in path of British warship to run it out from Black Sea waters along the coast of Crimea. However, United Kingdom rejected this claim by Russia.
- Another bone of contention is, Russia annexed Crimea in the year 2014 and claims it as Russian territory. But Crimea is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.
Sea Breeze 2021
The Sea Breeze 2021 exercise started on 28th June 2021 and will last for two weeks. It will involve some 32 warships and 40 aircraft from USA, NATO allies and Ukraine. Drill will witness the participation of 5,000 troops and 18 special operations. From US side, USS Ross (DDG-71) (Arleigh Burke-class destroyer) has arrived at Ukrainian port of Odessa jo join the drills. According to Ukraine, exercise is being conducted with the goal of gaining experience in joint actions during multinational peacekeeping and security operations.
Sea Breeze exercise is the largest exercise since 1997. Their aim is to train headquarters and subdivisions of Ukrainian Navy to perform assigned tasks as per NATO standards and procedures. It also seeks to gain experience in joint actions in multinational operations. Primary aim of the drill is to improve naval and land operations besides improving cooperation between the participating counties.
Ukraine and NATO launch Black Sea drills Ukraine and NATO launch Black Sea drills