The Black Sea waters will host a joint exercise of the NATO combat vessels and Ukrainian Navy ships. On July 23, six Alliance vessels, including frigates and minesweepers reached the seaport of Odesa, southern Ukraine. They will be available for open door visits until Thursday. The maneuvers will begin on July 26. Boudewijn Boots, the Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 said that this visit – the third one since the annexation of Crimea by Russia – clearly shows the Alliance’s support of Ukraine.
Earlier, we reported that a group of NATO vessels entered Odesa port. It was specified that the ships are the part of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2). In particular, a frigate "De Ruyter" of the Netherland’s Royal Navy, a frigate "Fatih" and mine-hunter "Аnamur" of the Turkish Navy, Germany’s support ship "Rhein", a frigate "Regele Ferdinand" and mine-hunter "Lupu Dinescu" from Romania docked in the port.
Sea Breeze 2018 drills kicked off in Odesa on July 9. This year's exercises involve 30 vessels from naval forces of 19 countries, including a Turkish submarine. An important feature of the exercise is that the multinational staff will be coordinating the actions of naval, air and ground forces from USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the 6th U.S. Navy Fleet.