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SEVASTOPOL, May 13. /TASS/. The first phase of the Russian-Chinese naval exercise Maritime Cooperation-2015 is over and it was a success, the chief of the Black Sea Fleet’s staff, Vice-Admiral Alexander Nosatov, has told the media.
"The first phase of the exercise is over. The ships are getting ready for the second phase in the Mediterranean Sea. All plans have been agreed, everything proceeds according to the original schedule. I am certain that the second phase will be successful, too, and will be of importance to practising joint operations," Nosatov said.
The Black Sea Fleet is present in the Mediterranean on the permanent basis.
"A special task force has been formed in the Mediterranean. It is addressing tasks on the permanent basis. There are enough forces and the number of ships is being built up," Admiral Nosatov said.
The active phase of the Russia-China naval exercise Maritime Cooperation-2015 will be held in the Mediterranean on May 17 through 21. Taking part in it will be six ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, including the missile cruiser The Moskva, the patrol ship The Ladny, two amphibious assault ships The Alexander Otrakovsky and The Alexander Shabalin, a salvage tug, the missile carrying hovercraft The Samum and China’s frigates The Linyi and The Weifang.
The group of Russian and Chinese naval vessels will be passing through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits in the first half of Thursday, the Russian Navy’s spokesman, Captain 1st class Igor Dygalo has told TASS.
"A group of naval ships consisting of China’s patrol ships The Linyi and The Weifang and the missile-carrying hovercraft The Samum of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet are currently on the way in the central part of the Black Sea. It is expected that tomorrow, in the first half of the day the ships will be passing through the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits," Dygalo said.
He said the ships were currently holding communication training sessions and practising joint maneuvering.
"Each nautical mile on the way is being used with the maximum effectiveness for the sake of enhancing the crews’ skills," Dygalo said.
All reports of the ships’ movements and the practices held were being transmitted to the headquarters of the exercises’ joint command in the community of Divnomorskoye (the Novorossiysk naval base), he added.
The group left Novorossiysk on Tuesday, May 12. Before that the Chinese ships took part in ceremonies on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of victory over Nazi Germany.