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Russia hands over command of Blackseafor to Turkey

August 10, 2012, 3:25 UTC+3

Russia handed over the command of the international Black Sea Naval Force (Blackseafor) to Turkey

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ANKARA, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — Russia handed over the command of the international Black Sea Naval Force (Blackseafor) to Turkey, Russia’s military attache in Ankara Mikhail Mytarev told Itar-Tass.

The ceremony took place in Turkey’s port of Gulluk, the Sea of Marmara, on Thursday.

“The command was handed over on a rotation basis within the framework of the autumn activation (until August 24 – Itar-Tass). Taking part in the drills will be warships of member-states of Blackseafor,” he said.

Until August 24 ships will call in Turkey’s port of Trabzon and Russia’s port of Novorossiysk as well as other ports of the naval force’s member-states.

“At these maneuvers ships will master interaction in training operations to respond to possible threats in the Black Sea. They will practice tasks that correspond to the goals of Blackseafor’s activities,” Mytarev said.

In particular, they will master tactical maneuvering, search and rescue operations, attack repelling and commercial shipping control.

Russia is represented by the Black Sea Fleet’s amphibious ship Novocherkassk that arrived in Gulluk on August 6.

The Black Sea Naval Force was established in Istanbul on April 2, 2001. Black Sea coastal states – Bulgaria, Georgia, Russia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine – agreed to set up an international naval force, expressing their readiness to contribute to ensuring regional security and stability and strengthening good neighbourly relations.

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