US, Romania launch navy drills in Black Sea near Russia

August 25, 2017 9:00 pm

Army personnel offload equipment at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base near Constanta in on February 14, 2017. (AFP photo)

The US and Romanian navies have launched joint military drills in the Black Sea in Eastern Europe near Russia’s borders.
The joint US-Romanian naval drills started on Thursday in the territorial and international waters of the Black Sea, the Agerpress agency reported.
The US is represented by the USS Porter warship, and the Romanian by the Horia Macellariu corvette.
The stated objectives of these war games are to train sailors and boost coordination between the participating vessels.
The USS Porter destroyer arrived in Romania on Tuesday for the fourth time; its first arrival was in 2006.
and other NATO members have increased their military activities in Eastern Europe since the eruption of the Ukrainian crisis in 2014 and Russia’s reunification with Crimea.
Moscow has repeatedly criticized NATO’s military build-up in Eastern Europe, saying it undermines regional security.
The and its NATO allies recently completed positioning about 4,500 soldiers in the three Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, as well as Poland, as a deterrent to what they call Russian aggression.
In response, Russia has beefed up its southwestern military capacity, deploying nuclear-capable missiles to its Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad bordering Poland and Lithuania.
During a trip to Ukraine on Thursday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis vowed continued American support for Kiev and said US sanctions against Russia would remain in place until Moscow stops supporting pro-independence militias in eastern Ukraine and returns Crimea to Kiev.
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